Minnesota Wild Continues Home Slump, Washington Capitals Win


Final. 2. 98. 3. 19

Two goals in 38 seconds of 4-on-4 play and a 3rd period snipe by Alex Ovechkin gave the Washington Captials its first win over the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. Braden Holtby 28 saves in the victory

Good morning from Dallas, Minnesota Wild fans. The Wild’s home woes continued last night with its first ever loss to the Capitals on home ice. Now just 2-4 in its last 6 home games, the Wild looks to Saturday’s game against the Blues to right the ship. Christian Folin and Jared Spurgeon (power play) both scored for the Wild. Don’t forget to check out the 7 best stats of the week, one of my favorite website features.

Next: The 7 Best Minnesota Wild Stats Of The Week

First Period:

No scoring in the first, but there was plenty of action. Both teams fighting for their playoff lives certainly didn’t hurt.

Chris Stewart, Nino Niederreiter, and Ryan Suter had a 3-on-2 that failed to click thanks to just one too many passes.

Mathew Dumba, who played another stellar game,  broke up a solo rush by Eric Fehr as the Wild got caught in a long change. The Capitals actually managed several solo rushes throughout the game, but never put the puck past Devan Dubnyk in one-on-one situations.

Tom Wilson, who may be one of the top power forward prospects in the NHL, drew coincidental minors with Sean Bergenheim in the 11th minute. In what served as foreshadowing for later in the game, the Capitals dominated 4-on-4 play. I’ll get to that later.

Mikko Koivu sent the Caps to the power play at 18:36, but the Wild killed it off handily. Nothing else to report, off to the middle frame we go.

Shots after one period: Washington Capitals 8, Minnesota Wild 8

Second Period:

The Wild and Capitals exchanged power play chances in the first 10 minutes, but neither side really did much.

Right around the 9th minute, the Minnesota Wild made a huge defensive stand That saw Alex Ovechkin and the top line pepper Dubnyk with shots. I’m honestly not sure how he stopped some of them, but the Wild maintained their composure and held on to the delight of the crowd.

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Wilson and Zach Parise took coincidental minors at 14:45 after a scrum in front of the benches. Wilson went for embellishment and Parise for roughing. Remember how I said the first 4-on-4 was foreshadowing? Well, the Caps scored twice during this 4-on-4.

First, Ovechkin walked in to the zone all the way from his own blue line, fired a shot at Dubnyk’s pads, collected his own rebound, and put a wrister right across the elbow of Dubnyk to make it 1-0 Capitals at 15:25 of the second period. Spurgeon, who was in front of the net, seemingly stood still as the league’s top goal scorer collected his own rebound.

39 seconds later, rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov stole the puck from Jonas Brodin right in front of the Wild crease and buried it past Dubnyk to make it 2-0 Capitals at 16:04 of the second period. Dubnyk looked pretty upset and gave Kuznetsov a big shove as he tried to celebrate.

Stewart drew a roughing penalty for shoving Wilson at 17:33. Wilson got away with some extra-curricular activity, but oh well.

The Wild wouldn’t be held scoreless in the second. Parise,

Mikael Granlund

, and Christian Folin broke out in a line rush from the defensive zone. Granlund raced down the slot, fed Parise along the left-wing wall, and Parise sent a cross-ice pass to Folin, who was uncovered down the right side. Folin put a quick wrist shot through Holtby’s 5-hole to make it

2-1 Capitals at 19:51 of the second period.

Congratulations to the rookie defenseman on his second goal of the year.

Shots after two periods: Washington Capitals 20, Minnesota Wild 17

Third Period:

It was important for the Wild to score when they did, because it helped them get a little wind in their sails. At least until Ovechkin fired again.

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