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game preview

Capitals at Wild preview

Washington looks to extend lead in Metropolitan; Minnesota seeks fourth straight win

by Jessi Pierce / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (39-19-6) at WILD (32-25-7)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Minnesota Wild look to extend their winning streak to four games when they host the Washington Capitals at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday.

The Wild, who have outscored opponents 17-5 during a three-game winning streak, are 12-5-1 in their past 18 games. Minnesota trails the Nashville Predators by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Capitals are 4-7-1 in their past 12 games. Washington is in first place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers.


Players to watch

Capitals forward Tom Wilson has three goals in his past five games.

Wild forward Kevin Fiala has three goals and seven points in a three-game goal/point streak.


They said it

"[Minnesota is] a really hard-working team. I think they've simplified their game and have really bought into it. You can see they're playing with confidence. … It'll be a difficult game for us tonight in their building." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

"I think everybody on our team is making it easy for us to stay with everything, the lineup, the lines, the pairings, everybody. We've played well, we've played as a team, we certainly need to keep doing that."-- Wild coach Dean Evason


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Lars Eller -- Ilya Kovalchuk

Richard Panik -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Brenden Dillon -- John Carlson

Michal Kempny -- Dmitry Orlov

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Nick Jensen

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Travis Boyd, Brendan Leipsic, Radko Gudas

Injured: None


Wild projected lineup

Gerald Mayhew -- Eric Staal -- Kevin Fiala

Marcus Foligno -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Jordan Greenway

Ryan Donato -- Mikko Koivu -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Brad Hunt -- Greg Pateryn

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Victor Rask

Injured: Luke Kunin (upper body), Carson Soucy (upper body)


Status report

Kunin has been medically cleared and could return when the Wild host the Predators on Tuesday.


Stat pack

Ovechkin has three goals in his past 10 games after 15 points (14 goals, one assist) in his previous seven. … The Capitals have the most road wins in the NHL (21-10-1) but have lost four straight away from home. … Koivu has five points (two goals, three assists) in a three-game point streak. … Hartman has five points (two goals, three assists) in a three-game point streak. … Parise has four points (one goal, three assists) in a three-game point streak. 

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