D Ryan Suter scored his first career hat trick, becoming the first defenseman in franchise history to accomplish the feat, as the Wild earned a 5-3 victory versus Washington in front of a sellout crowd of 19,022 fans Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center. RW Nino Niederreiter and LW Jason Zucker also scored for Minnesota. Next up, starts a two-game road trip Tuesday in Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3 FM.
Minnesota moved to 7-0-0 in Saint Paul against the Capitals, as Washington remains the only NHL team to never earn a win at Xcel Energy Center (0-6-1). The Wild moved to 16-5-2 in Saint Paul, joining Anaheim (16-0-2) and St. Louis (16-3-2) for most wins on home ice in the Western Conference. The Wild has won 12 of its last 17 games and 16 of its last 21 contests on home ice.
Minnesota scored three power-play goals on three power-play shots. The three power-play goals in the second period tied a franchise record for most PPG in a single period on home ice, occurring three other times, most recently Nov. 5, 2007 vs. Edmonton.
The Wild scored four goals in the second period – a season-high for most goals in a single stanza. It’s the 20th time in team history the Wild has scored at least four goals in a period (once recording five).
D Ryan Suter used three shots to record his first career hat trick, becoming the first defenseman in Wild history to accomplish the feat. It’s the Wild’s first hat trick since Jan. 16, 2010 (Latendresse at PHX) and first at Xcel Energy Center since Nov. 27, 2009 (Kobasew vs. COL). He has five goals in his last four games, 14 points (5-9=14) in his last 12 games and 29 points (5-24=29) in 44 games this season. He skated 31:06, topping the 30-minute mark for the eighth time in the last 11 games, 17 times in the last 29 contests and 22 times overall – half of the games this season.
C Mikko Koivu tallied two assists to stretch his point streak to five games (1-7=8) – his longest this season. It’s his second multi-point game in as many contests, his Wild-best eighth multi-point game this season and 101st of his career. The Wild captain leads Minnesota in points and assists (8-27=35) in 44 games this season.
RW Nino Niederreiter got Minnesota on the scoreboard with his eighth goal this season. He has four points (2-2=4) in his last four games and 21 points (8-13=21) in 44 games this season.
LW Jason Zucker earned his first career power-play goal. He has scored a goal in both games since being recalled Wednesday from Iowa (AHL), playing in nine total games with the Wild this season.
C Mikael Granlund assisted on Suter’s first goal and has five points (1-4=5) in his last seven games since returning from injury and recording 17 points (3-14=17) in 31 games this season.
LW Matt Cooke assisted on Niederreiter’s goal and has four assists in his last five games. He has 16 points (5-11=16) in 44 games during his first season with Minnesota. He tied his season high with six hits on the night.
G Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves to earn his second win in as many games, his fourth of the season.
Minnesota recorded 11 shots on goal, tying its fewest shots in a game for the fifth time in franchise history.
D Mike Green scored twice and C Marcus Johansson also scored for Washington, while G Braden Holtby made six saves in net.