WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin scored to end his NHL career-long 10-game goal drought, and the Washington Capitals ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Verizon Center on Tuesday.
"It was not a perfect shot, but I had pretty good opportunities before and it didn't go in," Ovechkin said. "It's turn around very quickly if I'm going to get that kind of goal."
Washington (45-17-7) leads the NHL, Eastern Conference and Metropolitan Division.
WATCH: All Wild vs. Capitals highlights
Ovechkin scored at 14:52 of the second period to give Washington a 2-0 lead; it was his 28th goal of the season and first since Feb. 19.
Nate Schmidt, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jay Beagle scored, and Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the Capitals.
Matt Dumba and Eric Staal scored, and Devan Dubnyk made 36 saves for Minnesota (43-19-6), which has lost five of its past seven and fell one point behind the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference and Central Division when Chicago defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2.
"You're fighting back, continuing to play," Staal said. "We didn't just throw our sticks on the ice in the third. We played and continued to fight and battle and got it within one, and then you make another mistake there on a (line) change and you're down by two again. It seems like those mistakes are just hitting the back of the net right now for us. We've got to find a way to get a lead and build a lead and play that way, because if we do that we're a lot more effective."
Video: MIN@WSH: Schmidt nets feed that redirects in
Dumba scored his eighth 37 seconds into the third period to make it 3-1. Staal made it 3-2 on the power play at 4:37 with his 23rd.
Beagle's goal with 5:41 remaining in the third period gave Washington a 4-2 lead. It was his 12th of the season, first in 16 games dating to Feb. 4.
"You just felt it a little bit more in the room, and I think that was the part that you could sense before we went on the ice," Schmidt said. "Even after the first period, it just felt like no matter what happened we were going to be able to put our nose down and just keep playing."
Schmidt scored with 12 seconds left in the first period for a 1-0 lead, his second goal of the season. Kuznetsov made it 3-0 at 17:08 of the second period on the power play, his 16th.
Video: MIN@WSH: Staal trims the deficit with power-play goal
Goal of the game
Ovechkin's one-timer went in stick side between Dubnyk's arm and body.
Video: MIN@WSH: Ovechkin beats Dubnyk with one-timer
Save of the game
Dubnyk stopped Justin Williams with a pad save on the penalty kill in the second period.
Video: MIN@WSH: Dubnyk uses his pad to turn away Williams
Highlight of the game
Kuznetsov finished a feed from Nicklas Backstrom past Dubnyk's blocker far-side.
Video: MIN@WSH: Kuznetsov whips wrister past Dubnyk for PPG
Unsung moment of the game
Capitals defenseman John Carlson cleaned up a defensive-zone turnover while on the power play in the second period to help prevent a shorthanded chance for the Wild.
They said it
"I know he's a goal-scorer, and I'm sure he gets a little confidence from that goal. After the goal, you could really tell he got a little confidence and was skating well, and he challenged their [defensemen] a lot, so that was fun to see." -- Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom on Alex Ovechkin
"We had our legs going. We had a dedicated performance, I guess. We were moving and trying to earn that win. It's good. I think as a group the California trip we just had a couple lapses, myself and throughout the group. It was just when you're focused as a team, those don't happen, and tonight it was a lot better." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby
"I'm not concerned about how good our team is and how good we're going to be. This has been a pretty rough stretch. We're not playing our best, but at the same time, this stretch of games every second night is a little bit of wear and tear on them. They'll get through it, we'll be better for it come April, May and June, hopefully." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau
Need to know
Backstrom had three assists to reach 50 this season. He is the 35th player in NHL history to have at least seven 50-assist seasons.
Wild: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-CR, NHL.TV)
Capitals: Host the Nashville Predators on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-TN, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)
Video: Caps hold off Wild's rally in 4-2 win at home