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game recap

Wilson scores in return, Capitals defeat Wild to end skid

Forward missed first 16 games serving suspension; Orlov has two goals, assist for Washington

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Tom Wilson scored in his return from suspension to help the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Dmitry Orlov scored two goals and had an assist for the Capitals (8-6-3), who started a four-game road trip after losing two straight at home.

Wilson missed the first 16 games of the season serving a suspension for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in a preseason game Sept. 30. The suspension was reduced from 20 games to 14 by a neutral arbitrator Tuesday.


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Wild highlights]


"It was a good day and good to get back in there," Wilson said. "It's tough watching the guys play, but once you get back and get in there, get in the room, get in the game day routine, there's no better feeling. It was a good game by the fellas and felt good to put together a good 60 minutes. Hopefully, we can get this thing going a little bit."

Mikko Koivu and Matt Dumba scored for the Wild (11-5-2), whose three-game winning streak ended. It was Minnesota's first loss in regulation at home this season (5-1-2).

"[The Capitals are] opportunistic. Their skill is well known," said Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who made 28 saves. "They don't need many opportunities. You give them space like that, they got weapons. We certainly could have won it. I think we played well. But that's a team when they get those, a lot of them are going to be in the back of the net."

Video: WSH@MIN: Wilson scores in season debut

Orlov scored his first goal of the season with a shot from the left face-off circle to give Washington a 1-0 lead at 6:33 of the first period.

The Wild have allowed the first goal in 13 of their past 16 games. They are 8-4-1 in those games.

Wilson crashed the net and scored on a pass from Orlov with 28 seconds remaining in the first to make it 2-0. He was called for a minor penalty for goaltender interference on the play.

"That was a first for me to score and get a penalty on the same play," Wilson said. "I was just going hard to the net. ... I was trying to do everything I could to get out of the way, so I'll take the goal and the (penalty) kill went out there and got it done, so that was good to see."

Andre Burakovsky made it 3-0 at 3:13 of the second period when he scored on a backhand shot after Lars Eller flipped the puck through the crease from the right of the net.

Video: WSH@MIN: Burakovsky shovels in backhander in front

Koivu got the Wild to within 3-1 with a shot from in front that trickled behind goalie Pheonix Copley and over the goal line at 11:57.

Orlov one-timed a pass from Alex Ovechkin at 7:23 of the third period to give the Capitals a 4-1 lead, and T.J. Oshie made it 5-1 when he scored on a slap shot at 9:48.

Dumba scored on the power play at 14:08 to make it 5-2.

"It feels good (to get the win)," said Copley, who made 26 saves. "The guys played really well. It was nice to have an early lead. Of course, when you put up five, that's also good."

Video: WSH@MIN: Orlov wires one-timer for second goal


They said it

"[Tom Wilson] does a lot, not just on the ice, but in our room, adds a ton of energy. … We were hoping to [get him back], at any point here, and we were able to take advantage of a fortunate bounce for our team before the game even started. I didn't expect him to have as strong a game as he did. … There's a lot to like about Tom Wilson, and I thought he had a strong game. It was great to have him back." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden on Wilson making his season debut Tuesday after his suspension was reduced from 20 games to 14


"[We] weren't as good as [we] were for the last 12 games. … We just weren't sharp. The passes weren't tape to tape, they were bouncing. Some guys were not as good as I expected them to be. It's a weird thing, because I thought we played as good as them, but they are the best team in the League scoring off the rush, and they proved it again tonight." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau


Need to know

Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom had an assist on Oshie's goal and has two goals and five assists in a six-game point streak. … Washington forward Evgeny Kuzenetsov got his 200th NHL assist on Wilson's goal. He has one goal and seven assists in his past eight games. … The Wild haven't won against the Capitals since March 5, 2015, and are 0-7-1 in their past eight games against them.


What's next

Capitals: At the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NBCSWA+, NHL.TV)

Wild: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, SNP, NHL.TV)

Video: Orlov's three points lead Capitals to 5-2 win

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