Ovechkin, Wilson lead Capitals to 5-2 win against Wild
The Minnesota Wild are tired of being spectators to the show.
Ovechkin scored his league-leading 34th goal and had three assists, and Wilson scored twice for the Washington Capitals in a 5-2 win against the Wild on Thursday night.
Ovechkin assisted on Wilson’s opening goal in the second period before adding his own in a building in which he’s had plenty of success for Washington. In eight career games in Minnesota, Ovechkin has 11 goals.
”I’ve seen him put on clinics all the time,” Wilson said. ”Maybe it’s another one. I’ve had a front row seat for the last four years. A bunch of milestones, a bunch of great games. Like I said, Nicky (Backstrom) and him, the superstars of this team, they carry the team every night and it’s great to see all four lines chipping in the last couple and it’s good to have that support.”
Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky each had a goal and assist for the Capitals, who had lost four of their previous six games, including back-to-back overtime losses. Philip Grubauer made 32 saves.
Nino Niederreiter scored his 100th NHL goal and Eric Staal added his 26th of the season in the third period for the Wild. Devan Dubnyk stopped 22 shots as Minnesota’s franchise-record home points streak was snapped at 13 games.
”For a guy that’s played so great recently, it could be arguably said that those were four soft goals tonight,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of Dubnyk.
Eight goals away from 600 for his career, Ovechkin has particularly tormented the Wild. In 14 career games against Minnesota, he has 15 goals and 10 assists and the Capitals are 10-3-1 in those games.
He had a hat trick in each of his last two visits to the Wild’s Xcel Energy Center and has a point in 12 straight games against Minnesota.
”I don’t know,” Ovechkin said. ”Ice is good here, atmosphere is good, and I have good luck here too.”
Wilson scored his eighth goal of the season just 59 seconds into the second period when his wrist shot went through the legs of defenseman Jared Spurgeon and beat Dubnyk, who tried to swipe at the puck with his glove hand as it sailed under his arm.
It was the first time in nine home games that the Wild had trailed during regulation. Calgary scored the first two goals on Jan. 9 on the way to an overtime win.
”I thought we played well,” Dubnyk said. ”They got a couple breaks and that’s the game. We just have to keep playing well. I don’t think we expected to win the rest of the games at home. We played a pretty good game. That’s all that matters and we’ll play a better game next time and get back at it.”
Oveckhin ended up alone in front of Dubnyk for his goal less than five minutes later.
”I know when he’s dancing out there, he’s going to get some points,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. ”He’s got a lot of points left in him. He’s very productive still.”
Minnesota scored twice in the third as it put up 18 shots on Grubauer, but Washington countered each time.
”I think today you can say thanks to Grubby,” Ovechkin said. ”He was obviously outstanding, especially in the third when they make a push.”
NOTES: Washington C Jay Beagle was in the lineup after being slashed in the ribs during Tuesday’s overtime loss in Winnipeg. . Minnesota scratched D Mike Reilly for the third time in five games along with F Chris Stewart. . Ovechkin has four goals and eight assists in his past seven games. . C Mikko Koivu played in his 900th NHL game, all with the Wild. He’s the franchise leader in games, points and assists.
Capitals: At Chicago on Saturday night.
Wild: Host Anaheim on Saturday.
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