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Boedker, Mueller carry Coyotes past Capitals

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Wayne Gretzky knows a little about

being a marked man in the NHL, so it was no surprise he made

sure Alex Ovechkin was accounted for.

Rookie Mikkel Boedker and Peter Mueller scored in a span of 4:03

in the third period, lifting Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1

victory over Ovechkin's Washington Capitals on Thursday.

Mikael Tellqvist stopped 31 shots for Phoenix, which snapped a

two-game skid and has won its first two home games for the first

time since 2000-01.

Tellqvist and the Coyotes did so by containing the

ultra-talented Ovechkin. The superstar was held without a goal

for a fifth straight game.

"The Great One" was proud of his team's defensive play against

Ovechkin, the reigning Hart Trophy winner who scored a

league-best 65 goals last season.

"Ovechkin is a great player, one of the top three in the

league," Gretzky said. "He plays hard, is physical and is fun

to watch, but I thought our guys did a great job.

"We sort of played two lines against him. One was a checking

line, and the other was with Boedker trying to utilize his

speed. We used the two units against him because he is such a

great athlete and in such great shape."

Gretzky also praised Tellqvist for staying ready despite the

fact Ilya Bryzgalov is firmly entrenched as the team's starting

goaltender.

"He is a tremendous kid and he works hard, and it is not easy to

work hard every day knowing that the other guy is going to play

three or four games in a row," Gretzky said. "When he does go

in, he is fired up, and I know the other players like him and

respect him and want him to do well."

"They have one (big scorer) on every line, pretty much. You

have to be aware of them," Tellqvist said. "They have plenty of

offense, and it is really hard to shut Alex down, but we were

able to shut him down."

Tellqvist allowed Brooks Laich's power-play goal at 8:18 of the

second, but the Coyotes barged ahead in the third, scoring twice

on eight shots against Jose Theodore, who made 32 saves overall.

"Jose was great in the first two (periods), and we talk about

not playing prevent defense, and that is what we did," Capitals

coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We had two really bad plays that

led to the two goals, then we have the sense of urgency in the

last six minutes of the game and we can't score."

Phoenix tied the game just 2:59 into the period, when Washington

defenseman Tyler Sloan failed to clear the puck from his own

zone. Olli Jokinen gathered it near the left wing boards and

fired a pass to Boedker, who beat Theodore with a wrist shot

from the slot.

Mueller put the Coyotes ahead with a one-timer off a cross-ice

feed from Martin Hanzal that found the right side of the net at

6:32.

"It was a great win for the boys tonight and definitely lifted

their spirits," Mueller said. "Going into the third period down

by one, we knew what we needed to do, and we came out strong and

got a couple of bounces.

"We knew how important this game was, and our third period has

been our best period. What it shows is one good period can win

you the hockey game, and that is what we did tonight."

Laich put Washington up, 1-0, when he took a pass from Alexander

Semin and beat Tellqvist with a wrist shot from the slot.

The Capitals, who went 1-for-4 with the man advantage, are just

2-for-22 on the power play over their last four games.

"We have only ourselves to blame," Washington's Matt Bradley

said. "It's not what the other team is doing, it's what we are

not doing. We were pretty good the first two periods, but for

some reason, we came out flat in the third. There is no excuse

for it."

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