Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2 in a shootout at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday night. Goaltender Zach Fucale saved 21 of 22 shots faced in the loss.
Capitals’ Lines at Wild
Center Connor McMichael came in for right-wing Brett Leason after being a healthy scratch on Friday, skating on the second-line. Right-wing Tom Wilson returned to the top-line while Garnet Hathaway was dropped down to the fourth. Left-wing Conor Sheary switched to the right side of his trio.
Scratched: Leason, LHD Dennis Cholowski, LHD Matt Irwin
Injured: RW T.J. Oshie (missed third straight game, non-COVID-19 related illness), C Nicklas Backstrom (third, non-COVID-19 related illness), G Vitek Vanecek (second, non-COVID-19 related illness), LW Anthony Mantha (shoulder, 26th, out indefinitely)
The Wild played without left-wing Kirill Kaprizov (upper-body injury), defenseman Jared Spurgeon (lower-body injury), center Joel Eriksson Ek (upper-body injury), defenseman Jonas Brodin (upper-body injury), goaltender Cam Talbot (lower-body injury), and center Nick Bjugstad (upper-body injury).
Fucale set the franchise record for the longest streak without allowing a goal to start their tenure with the Capitals, beating Cristobal Huet’s mark of 80:36 in 2008.
The Capitals led 10-9 in shots, 3-2 in takeaways, had no giveaways while the Wild were credited with five, and won 55% of the faceoffs in the first.
The Wild led 8-2 in hits and 6-4 in blocked shots through 20 minutes.
Each team did not score on one opportunity on the power play in the opening stanza.
McMichael tipped in defenseman Nick Jensen’s blast from up top at the side of the goal when the shot appeared to be going wide to open the scoring for the Capitals 2:41 into the second.
Mikey cracks open the scoring pic.twitter.com/awLBCLZXQ1
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 9, 2022
Fucale set the NHL record for the longest streak without allowing a goal to start their career, beating Matt Hackett’s mark of 102:48 set in 2011 (which he set with the Wild).
Center Evgeny Kuznetsov shot a scorcher past the glove of goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen from the right dot after getting a pass by captain Alex Ovechkin from up top off of a faceoff win to open a power play at 5:48. Center Lars Eller has recorded eight points (four goals) in his last 10 games with a secondary assist..
Ope lemme just squeeze this one by ya pic.twitter.com/VH6Q0nv4Q9
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 9, 2022
On a delayed penalty, Capitals left-wing Carl Hagelin’s pass attempt to Kuznetsov at the half-wall by the Wild bench went into the vacated net in his own end. Right-wing Marcus Foligno was credited for the 100th tally of his career with 6:05 left in the period.
The Capitals led 21-14 in shots (including 12-5 in the second), had no giveaways while the Wild had five, won 54% of the draws, and scored once on five power plays in the first two periods.
The Wild led 12-5 in hits, 9-6 in blocked shots, and did not take advantage of just one opportunity with the extra man through 40 minutes.
Each team earned six takeaways through two.
Right-wing Marcus Foligno deflected a shot by left-wing Mats Zuccarello from above the right dot in front of the net past the blocker of Fucale on a six-on-five advantage with 34.7 seconds left to tie it.
The Capitals led 28-20 in shots, had one giveaway while the Wild had six, won 51% of the draws, and scored once on five power plays.
The Wild led 15-8 in hits, 17-13 in blocked shots, and did not take advantage of just one opportunity with the extra man.
The teams split the battle at the dot in addition to earning six takeaways and seven shots in the third period each.
Fucale dove to rob Hartman of a wide open net with the blocker after he got a cross-ice feed from Zuccarello 12 seconds into the extra frame.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s @Fucale31 with the diving save in OT!! pic.twitter.com/GoMRkmC6je
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 9, 2022
Each team earned two shots in overtime.
Fucale poke checked Zuccarello after he attempted to deke in close.
Kuznetsov deked and hit the post after easing in.
Right-wing Kevin Fiala glided in and roofed one over the glove of Fucale.
Right-wing Daniel Sprong could not chip it past Kahkonen when trying to lift the puck over his shoulder.
Center Frederick Gaudreau beat Fucale to the glove to cap off the comeback for Minnesota.
Next game: vs. Boston Bruins on Monday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)
By Harrison Brown
Records are nice BUT wins are better.Once again this team could NOT score on the PP going 1-5 and were decent but afraid to shoot in the OT. It looks like players are afraid to shoot on the PP also instead they defer to #8 taking the shots. Maybe if they hanged up the PP a little and the HC told others they had to shoot they would be scoring like they had the leagues best PP. Cant believe the goal from hags. Dont remember the last time someone put the puck in the other net on a 6-on-5. Wondering what else can go wrong for this team to lose a game this eyar?
This is such a Capitals way to lose a game.