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game recap

Holtby, Capitals hold off Wild

Makes 30 saves to end Minnesota's four-game winning streak

by Brian McNally / Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist, and Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the Washington Capitals in a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild at Capital One Arena on Saturday.

Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals (11-9-1), who ended a two-game losing streak and extended their home winning streak to five.

Washington was outscored 12-5 in road losses to the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche this week.


[WATCH: All Wild vs. Capitals highlights]


"I think after Colorado, the character was a little bit of a question, and I take to that heart because I feel like that's my responsibility," Oshie said. "I don't know if you could be more focused than normal, but I was determined tonight to have a good game."

The Wild (9-8-2) had a four-game winning streak end. Nino Niederreiter scored a power-play goal, and Alex Stalock made 40 saves, including a penalty shot by Chandler Stephenson with 4:49 left in the third period and the score 2-1.

Video: MIN@WSH: Niederreiter jams home rebound for a PPG

Minnesota was outshot 22-10 in the third period, and defenseman Ryan Suter committed a four-minute high-sticking penalty trailing by one with 3:13 to play.

"We wanted to push, too, in the third," Stalock said. "We know how they've been playing lately and how urgency was [going to] be a big word in their locker room this game. They showed it tonight and they made big plays. [Holtby] played great too."

Oshie's power-play goal at 9:42 of the first period ended Minnesota's streak of 17 penalty kills in a row. He one-timed a shot after quick passes from Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom for a 1-0 lead.

Niederreiter's power-play goal at 12:02 tied the game 1-1. He swept a backhand past Holtby after Mikael Granlund jammed at the puck following a pass from Mikko Koivu.

Orlov put Washington ahead 2-1 44 seconds later. All five Capitals skaters touched the puck after a face-off win by Backstrom. Oshie passed from the left face-off circle to Matt Niskanen at the blue line. He sent a quick cross-ice pass that Orlov one-timed past Stalock's blocker.

Video: MIN@WSH: Kuznetsov extends lead with power-play goal

Holtby won for the seventh time in eight starts. His best series of saves came at 17:13 of the second period after shouldering aside a shot by Joel Eriksson Ek, who was battling Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik. The puck popped into the air and was pushed onto the stick of Wild defenseman Kyle Quincey in front, but Holtby got a glove on the wrist shot.

"You've got to battle through. You've got to find a way to make a save in those situations," Holtby said. "It wasn't a bad play. It's [Orpik] battling. When you see guys do that, then you want to fight harder to do your part too."

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin had four shots and an assist on Kuznetsov's power-play goal at 17:23 of the third period that made it 3-1. But Ovechkin did not score for the fifth consecutive game and left the ice in the second period after a puck struck him in the mouth.

Video: MIN@WSH: Ovechkin takes puck to face, leaves game

Oshie also left in the second period after taking a slash on the right hand from Suter.

"We were casual on the road, I think, rather than just playing hard," Backstrom said. "And that means everybody, as a group. When we are playing on top of our game and playing like tonight, we're hard to play against."


Goal of the game

Orlov's goal at 12:46 of the first period.

Video: MIN@WSH: Orlov blisters a one-timer past Stalock


Save of the game

Holtby's save on Quincey at 17:13 of the second period. 

Video: MIN@WSH: Holtby makes saves on Eriksson Ek, Quincey


Highlight of the game

Oshie's goal at 9:42 of the first period. 

Video: MIN@WSH: Oshie rips home one-timer for PPG


They said it

"Every time he's gotten in a game he's given us a chance to win. It's just unfortunate that we haven't played up to the way he's played. " -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on goalie Alex Stalock


"Just try to feel my tooth, and it's fine. Just moving a little bit, but it's fine. It's hockey … not really scary. Can do much worse. I can lose my teeth." -- Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin


Need to know

Wild forward Jason Zucker failed to score for the first time in six games, falling one shy of tying Brian Rolston's Wild record. … The Capitals have won six consecutive games against the Wild. ... Minnesota had not allowed a power-play goal since Nov. 4 against the Chicago Blackhawks (six games). … Washington's 43 shots and 22 in the third period were season highs.


What's next

Wild: Host the New Jersey Devils on Monday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N+, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the Calgary Flames on Monday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NBCSWA+, SNW, NHL.TV)


Video: Kuznetsov, Holtby lead Capitals past Wild, 3-1

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