Before the home-ice finale began the Arizona Coyotes presented the annual player awards. Those awards brought the team enough mojo to grab a 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals.
And The Winners Were
Hardest Worker - Jordan Martinook
Man of the Year - Michael Stone
Leading Scorer - Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Three Star Award - Shane Doan
Most Valuable Player - Oliver Ekman-Larsson
First Period Highlights
The Coyotes threatened early with outstanding rookie Anthony Duclair hitting the crossbar at 1:26, then getting a good chance in the slot area at 3:43 with a wrist shot which almost stunned Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer.
The only penalty went to Caps leading scorer Alex Ovechkin for slashing. The Caps killed off the penalty effortlessly.
The play was really choppy with some passes missing their targets. Keeping Ovechkin off the scoreboard was the main goal for the Coyotes' defense.
Second Period Heats Up
At the 3:32 mark the Caps Nate Schmidt and Max Domi mixed it up along the boards. Both were assessed five minutes for fighting. Domi got one shot in and then they wrestled to the ice.
Potential top draft pick Auston Matthews was in attendance and interviewed during a second period stoppage of play. He mentioned that growing up here in the valley watching the Coyotes play influenced his interest in playing hockey competitively.
Almost halfway through the period Ovechkin and T. J. Ochie had a two-on-one break with Mike Smith stopping Ovechkin with a high glove save. The crowd loved it and erupted in applause.
Connor Murphy held his own against Ovechkin by battling him for position in front of the Yotes' net.
Third Period Success
The final stanza saw the Coyotes come out and score two goals within a 27 second span of time. The first tally went to Shane Doan as he camped in front of the Caps net to deflect a Max Domi shot by Graubauer. It was Doan's 27th of the season.
One fan's sign stated "Captain Shane Doan ages like fine wine."
The second goal went to Oliver Ekman-Larsson on a shot from the left point, or–as it can be coined–his office. Alex Tanguay and Antione Vermette had helpers.
If that didn't take the wind out of the Caps sails, Brad Richardson broke in with Domi and cleaned up on Domi's rebound to give the sinking Caps a three goal deficit.
The Caps pulled their goalie to attempt to break the shutout, but decided to put him back in when the outcome was inevitable.
The final home game was a sellout, with 17,125 enjoying an impressive win against the the best team in the NHL. Mike Smith was named the Star of the Game with his shutout and it was no coincidence this writer's postgame burger order number was Smith's 41.
After the game players took their jerseys off to pass them out to selected fans for keepsakes.
The Arizona Coyotes finish off the 2015-16 season with four final games on the road against St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, and lastly the season finale at San Jose.