The Washington Capitals beat the Minnesota Wild, 3-2 on Friday night at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. The Capitals improved to 45-11-4 (94 pts) on the year while the Wild fell to 27-25-10 (64 pts) on the year. The Caps continue to build on their commanding lead in the Eastern Conference while the Wild still continue to fight for a playoff spot in the unpredictable Western conference. Caps' captain Alex Ovechkin led the way with his 40th goal of the season.
Another Slow Start for Washington
The Capitals started out slow again as they gave up the first goal in the game for the 6th straight game. Both goalies were solid for the first period as the teams remained scoreless until the very end of the period. The Capitals committed three penalties in the first frame and were able to kill off the first two, but their luck ran out on the Wild's third power play of the first period. Wild captain Mikko Koivu beat Braden Holtby five-hole at 19:18 of the opening period. The Wild led 1-0 after the first period and the Capitals managed only three shots on net.
Capitals Knot it Up... Only to Lose the Lead Again
The Caps' responded quickly into the second period as defenseman Brooks Orpik scored his 3rd goal of the game less than a minute into the second to tie the game up at one. The assists on the goal came from Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom.
The Capitals were much more energized and effective in the second period as they looked more refreshed and prepared than they did at the start of the game, but it was the Wild who were soon feeling energized as Nino Niederreiter scored his 12th goal of the year to give the Wild a 2-1 lead going into the final period.
Capitals Complete Comeback
It has been the Capital's power play that has been so successful this season and it didn't disappoint on Friday night. Less than five minutes into the third period, captain Alex Ovechkin scored his league leading 40th goal of the season. The assists game from Matt Niskanen and Niklas Backstrom. The two teams played physical and hard for the rest of the period and it looked as if the two teams were destined for overtime but Dmitry Orlov made sure that this wouldn't be the case. The Capitals defenseman scored his 7th goal of the year at 14:56 of the third period and that would be the final goal scored. The Capitals would hold on and defeat the Wild 3-2.
The Wild will take on another hot team in the East in the Florida Panthers as they look to get a win on Sunday afternoon. As for the Capitals, they will take on one of the NHL's elite in the Chicago Blackhawks in a nationally televised game on Sunday afternoon on NBC.