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Postgame Hat Trick: Capitals 5, Wild 4 (OT)

Oshie's overtime goal lifts Washington in thriller

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-4 overtime loss against the Washington Capitals at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Tuesday night:

1. Minnesota (44-24-8) staged a furious comeback after falling behind 4-2 on Alex Ovechkin's third goal of the night with 7:31 remaining.

First it was Jared Spurgeon, sending a bouncing puck off a Capitals stick past Washington goaltender Braden Holtby at 15:03 to get the Wild within one. Finally, with Devan Dubnyk on the bench, it was Eric Staal banging in a shot on the back door to tie things up with 26.6 seconds remaining.

Video: WSH@MIN: Staal hammers deflection to tie the game

It was reviewed in Toronto, but held up as being onside.

The Wild's penalty kill struggled on the night (more on that below), but when it was out of the penalty box, Minnesota dominated the game. Even after falling behind by two late, the Wild showed the #resiliency we saw for most of the regular season.

"Nobody likes to lose. But if you don't take positives out, you're going to be a dead man in this sport in not too long," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "The negatives were when we played Vancouver. We didn't have anybody going against a team that we should beat. These last two games I thought we dominated both games 5-on-5. It's always darkest before the dawn, that's a saying, and I truly believe that. It's getting better.

"It's coming closer. When you score on the best defensive team in the league, two goals in the last five minutes, it's cause for hope."

T.J. Oshie scored his second goal of the night with 3:08 remaining in overtime to give the Capitals (50-17-8) the extra point, but like Sunday's game in Detroit, the game against Washington was something for Minnesota to build on.

2. For most of the night, the Wild was the superior team 5-on-5.

That was especially the case in the second period. Down by a goal after one, Jason Pominville got Minnesota on the board at 2:17 of the frame, gathering in a pass below the hashes from Martin Hanzal behind the net and beating Holtby for his 12th goal. 

"I thought we had the better of the chances there and I think that's the most energy it's looked like we've had in a while," Spurgeon said. "Everyone on the bench was positive, and to come back and get a point was huge for us. We just gotta continue that."

Video: Locker Room Postgame vs Washington

Minnesota established possession immediately after the goal until Hanzal took an offensive zone penalty that put Washington on its first power play. The Wild killed that one, but took another just 17 seconds after the first expired.

It wasn't so lucky that time around.

Alex Ovechkin did what Alex Ovechkin does, scoring a power-play goal from the left circle to re-establish a lead for the Capitals. 

Four minutes after that, Nino Niederreiter headed to the penalty box for a hook. Seconds into that power play, it was Ovechkin from nearly the same spot, this time on a slap shot to make it 3-1.

"We designed our [penalty kill] to defend that, and we were just unsuccessful," said Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. "The first one was off the rush. Second one was in his spot. Third one, one-timer there. That's his spot. We have to know that. We knew that. We were prepared, but we just didn't execute."

Minnesota steered clear of the penalty box over the final seven minutes of the second and slowly took momentum back, capitalizing on a tally by Hanzal at 15:43 to get back within a goal. 

Video: WSH@MIN: Hanzal roofs a rebound from the doorstep

Hanzal's goal was his 18th of the season and second as a member of the Wild. It was his second multi-point effort in Minnesota, seventh this season and 60th of his NHL career. He now has nine points in 14 games since the Feb. 27 trade that brought him here from Arizona.

Pominville, who also had a multi-point game, now has 399 career assists and will likely play in his 900th NHL game on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.

"I thought we controlled a lot of the play, 5-on-5. We didn't give them a lot," Staal said. "I've played against these guys many a time over the years where you feel like you deserve better, and they have some players who can execute on the power play, and they clearly did tonight with Ovi getting three. We've got to do a better job in that area, obviously. But 5-on-5, we were solid."

3. Minnesota was without Zach Parise for a bulk of the game after a vicious high stick left him in pain on the ice.

Midway through the first period, Washington's Tom Wilson appeared to be heading for a line change but held his stick a little too high and a little too casually. Parise skated by and took the blade of Wilson's stick under the visor, sending him to the ice in pain. Boudreau said afterward that his eye was swollen when he saw him during the first intermission.

Video: WSH@MIN: Parise takes high stick, exits early

While falling down, however, Parise rammed into Caps forward Jay Beagle, adding insult to injury. Parise laid on the ice for several moments before being helped to the bench by Wild athletic trainer John Worley and down the tunnel. He did not return to action.

Afterward, Boudreau said he was more concerned moving forward about an upper-body injury (believed to be sustained during the tumble) than he was about the issue with Parise's eye.

"I don't know what he looks like at this stage, but I guess we'll find out more tomorrow," Boudreau said.

Video: Bruce Boudreau Postgame vs Capitals

 
Loose pucks

• Dubnyk finished with 15 saves. 

• Holtby stopped 26 shots.

• Minnesota went 0-for-5 on the power play. Washington converted three of its four opportunities on the man advantage.

• Spurgeon had two assists to go with his goal.

Mikko Koivu and Nino Niederreiter each had single assists.

• Ovechkin also had an assist on Oshie's first goal to finish with four points.

• Marcus Johansson finished with four assists.

• Nicklas Backstrom had three assists. 

• Attendance: 19,188


He said it

"Five-on-five, we were really good. Our special teams were not good. … I've got to be better. We all have to be better. We all have to bear down. Special teams, you give the best player time and space, and usually he scores." -- Wild defenseman Ryan Suter


They said it

"It's six games left. Obviously, you try to be in the best shape, try to do as best as we can to feel comfortable be in the playoffs because every moment, every situation can change the game. Sometimes you just want to win so badly and stuff happens. You get the lead, 4-2, and we know they're going to make a push, and a lucky bounce. It's the game." -- Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin


Three stars

* Alex Ovechkin

** Nicklas Backstrom

*** Jared Spurgeon

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