Caps beat Wild in shootout 3-2
WASHINGTON-–Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 3-2 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild Thursday night at Verizon Center:
How it happened: Nicklas Backstrom scored the only goal of the shootout and Braden Holtby stopped Jason Pominville, Saku Koivu and Charlie Coyle to give the Caps their fourth shootout win of the season. The Caps opened up an early lead on Alex Ovechkin’s league-leading seventh power-play goal, but the Wild answered with a power-play goal by Charlie Coyle. Mikail Granlund gave the Wild a 2-1 lead early in the second period but Marcus Johansson sent the game into overtime when he scored with 3:08 remaining in regulations.
What it means: The Caps moved three points ahead of the Islanders, who lost in Carolina, and to within four points of the idle Metropolitan Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.
Shootouts: The Caps are now 4-0 in shootouts this season and 7-0 under Capitals head coach Adam Oates.
Green’s struggles: Caps defenseman Mike Green entered the game on his longest goal-less streak to start the season and it continued into its 16th game. Green’s offensive struggles appear to have affected his overall game. Twenty seconds after his hooking penalty late in the first period the Wild scored on the power play to tie the score at 1-1.
Save(s) of the night: With 11:16 remaining in the third period and the Wild holding a 2-1 lead, Minnesota goalie left Josh Harding flashed his glove for a nice stop on Mikhail Grabovski’s snap shot from the high slot. He made another brilliant right pad save on Troy Brouwer on a third-period power play. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was a brick wall on a Wild power play late in regulation and into overtime, robbing Zach Parise and Jason Pominville
What’s ahead: The Capitals are scheduled to practice at 11 a.m. on Friday at Kettler. They hit the road for weekend games in Phoenix on Saturday and Colorado on Sunday. Both are 8 p.m. starts. The Caps are back home on Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.