Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images
The Capitals beat the Minnesota Wild 5-2 Thursday night in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After a scoreless opening frame, Tom Wilson would be the first to light the lamp just 59 seconds into the middle stanza. Alex Ovechkin would also notch a tally early in the second period, giving the Caps a 2-0 lead at the second intermission. Andre Burakovsky would stretch the Caps lead to 3-0 before the Wild finally got on the scoreboard in the third. Nicklas Backstrom would score a late goal to make it 4-1. The Wild would add a 6-on-5 goal late but Tom Wilson would answer with an empty net goal to seal the 5-2 win. The Capitals return to action Saturday night in Chicago when they take on the Blackhawks. Puck drop is 8:00PM.
Philipp Grubauer (4-7-3, 2.69 GAA, .913 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Devan Dubnyk (23-10-4, 2.59 GAA, .920 sv%) got the start for the Wild. The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs:
Scratches: Madison Bowey and Alex Chiasson were the healthy scratches against Minnesota.
The Capitals and Wild would duel to a scoreless opening frame. The Wild outshot the Caps 8-6 for the first 20 minutes. the Wild also held a slight edge in the faceoff battle 52-48% through the first 20 minutes. The Capitals went 0 for 1 and the Wild 0 for 0 on the power play in the first period.
The Capitals would strike first on a snipe from the left point by Tom Wilson 0:59 seconds into the middle frame. This was Wilson’s 8th goal of the season. Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov were credited with the helpers.
Alex Ovechkin would stretch the Capitals lead to 2-0 with a 5-hole dazzler at 5:51 of the middle frame. Andre Burakovsky was credited with the lone assist. Ovechkin has at least one point in every game he’s played at Xcel Energy Center. With two points already tonight, he has 15 points in eight games at Xcel.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 2-0. Washington outshot Minnesota 9-8 for the second period. Minnesota led 16-15 after 40 minutes of play.
Andre Burakovsky would add to the Capitals lead with an unassisted end-to-end snipe at 2:39 of the final frame. Philipp Grubauer was credited with the secondary assist, his first NHL point.
The Wild would answer quickly with a goal by Nino Niederreiter at 4:25 of the third period.
Nicklas Backstrom added a tally at 15:00 to make it 4-1.
The Wild would add a 6-on-5 goal late but Tom Wilson would answer with an empty net goal with less than two minutes to play. The Capitals would hang on for the 5-2 win.
- Alex Ovechkin scored 4 points (1g, 3a), giving him 1,100 for his NHL career. Ovechkin is the 23rd player in NHL history to record 1,100 career points with one franchise.
- Tom Wilson had 2 goals and 1 assist.
- Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 of 34 shots (.941 sv%).
- NHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM MINNESOTA