Skip to main content
game recap

Wild move into wild-card spot with win against Capitals

Use third-period goal to climb Western Conference standings

by Harvey Valentine / Correspondent

Kunin's top-shelf snipe

MIN@WSH: Kunin picks the top corner on Holtby

Luke Kunin collects Zach Parise's dish and fires a wrist shot into the top corner from the slot, giving the Wild a 2-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:50 •

WASHINGTON -- The Minnesota Wild moved into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Friday.

The Wild (35-31-9), who had lost two straight games, are one point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes having played one more game.

"It means temporarily we're in a playoff spot," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "So that's what that means. We've got to do it again tomorrow (against the Carolina Hurricanes)."


[WATCH: All Wild vs. Capitals highlights]


Luke Kunin made it 2-1 at 12:25 of the third period when he took a pass from Zach Parise and scored on a high wrist shot from between the circles.

Brett Connolly scored for Washington (43-24-8), which has lost two straight and remained three points ahead of the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division having played one more game.

"I think we didn't play our best and let a team hang around on the road, and it just kind of came down to one chance and they buried that chance," Connolly said. "So not our best effort, but we've got a few more games to go."

Video: MIN@WSH: Dubnyk robs Carlson with blocker save

Washington had won eight straight games against Minnesota, dating to March 19, 2015.

The Capitals had 22 shots on goal after setting their record with 58 in their previous game, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

"We didn't want to give them rushes because we know how good they are off the rush and how they can make plays off the rush," Parise said. "We wanted to slow them down in the neutral zone, and I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job at that."

Greenway gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 16:33 of the first period when he got around Tom Wilson and deked goalie Braden Holtby. It was his first goal in 13 games.

"It was good effort by [Ryan Donato]," Greenway said. "He made a great play on the wall and I saw a lane to the net and put my head down and put my knee out and just kind of put it in."

Video: MIN@WSH: Greenway dekes and pots the opening goal

Less than 30 seconds after Kunin hit the post, Connolly tied it 1-1 when he deflected Nick Jensen's shot from the point at 10:42 of the second period. Connolly has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past five games.

Devan Dubnyk made 21 saves and had an assist for Minnesota. Holtby made 25 saves for Washington.

The Capitals were 0-for-3 on the power play.

"I think we start doing some bad things, maybe a little casual," Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin said. "But I think we just have to simplify our game and just play smarter. I think we're better than that, all of us."

Video: MIN@WSH: Connolly redirects Jensen's shot to tie game


They said it

"We had a couple [third-period] shifts where we were discombobulated a little bit, but we're not playing the Mighty Ducks from movie fame out there. That's the Stanley Cup champions, and you're going to get shifts where you're hemmed in your own zone. It's how you handle that, and I thought we did a good job. And [Devan] was there every time we needed him." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"I think you could tell they got more desperate as the game went on. They don't give up much, they're pretty stingy defensively. I think just, after coming off some emotional games lately, I think we didn't ramp it up enough for this one, for their situation, how they were playing." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby

"Tonight, we weren't at our best. At the end of the day, they leave with two points and we get nothing out of it, so we've got to be better. That's right through our group." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden


Need to know

With the primary assist on Greenway's goal, Donato got the 10,000th point in Wild history. Minnesota has 3,688 goals and 6,316 assists in 1,435 regular-season games since joining the NHL in 2000-01. ... Parise has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak. ... Capitals forward Carl Hagelin (illness) was scratched.


What's next

Wild: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC)

Video: Greenway, Kunin power Wild past Capitals, 2-1

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.