Washington Capitals (7-6-3 17pts) v. Minnesota Wild (11-4-2 24pts)
Time: 8p EST
Station: NBC Sports Washington
After fizzling out at the end of their 5 game home stand, the Washington Capitals get a major boost with the return of Tom Wilson, who had his suspension reduced to 14 games earlier in the day, as they begin a 4 game road trip in Minnesota who have been 10-2-0 in their past 12 games.
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson — Travis Boyd — Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitry Orlov — John Carlson
Michal Kempny — Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos — Madison Bowey
Scratched: Jonas Siegenthaler, Nic Dowd, Dmitrij Jaskin
Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body)
Keys to the Game:
1. Get your act together
The Capitals have not been playing inspired hockey as of late, and they need to get their act together and start playing the way they were that took them to a Stanley Cup victory this past summer.
2. Play Smart
With Tom Wilson being injected back into the lineup, all eyes will be on him tonight and he will need to play smart, and choose his spots wisely when throwing hits.
Zach Parise — Mikko Koivu — Nino Niederreiter
Jason Zucker — Eric Staal — Mikael Granlund
Jordan Greenway — Joel Eriksson Ek — Charlie Coyle
Marcus Foligno — Eric Fehr — J.T. Brown
Ryan Suter — Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin — Jared Spurgeon
Nick Seeler — Greg Pateryn
Scratched: Nate Prosser, Matt Hendricks
Wild Penalty – 2:56 – Matt Dumba 2 minutes for Interference
Capitals Penalty – 19:32 – Tom Wilson 2 minutes for Goalie Interference
End of 1st – WAS – 2 MIN – 0
Shots 12 06
Faceoffs 12 07
Hits 03 11
PP 0/1 0/0 *First in progress
This was a good first period for the Capitals. They squandered their lone powerplay of the period but responded very well with the first goal of the game. Also seeing Wilson score late in the period is good for the Capitals momentum wise, despite the odd goalie interference penalty at the same time.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to clean up their game a bit. They had too many odd passes trying to get into the offensive zone and they need to stop doing the “slingshot while on the powerplay as it is killing their entries into the zone.
Capitals Goal – 3:13 – Andre Burakovsky (2) from Lars Eller (7) and Brett Connolly (8)
Wild Penalty – 3:49 – Nick Seeler 2 minutes for Slashing
Capitals Penalty – 9:50 – Andre Burakovsky 2 minutes for Tripping
Wild Penalty – 11:58 – Marcus Foligno 5 minute major for Fighting
Capitals Penalty – 11:58 – Tom Wilson 5 minute major for Fighting
End of 2nd – WAS – 3 MIN – 1
Shots 27 14
Faceoffs 24 16
Hits 05 15
PP 0/2 0/2
This was a good period to start as it showed the Capitals out shoot the Wild 9-0 to start, but some sloppy play allowed the Wild to cut the lead to 3-1.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to clean up their game a bit and make sure they play a full 20 minutes to close out the Wild. Cleaner passes and puck control will be key as well in the 3rd.
Capitals Penalty – 4:27 – Matt Niskanen 2 minutes for Holding
Capitals Penalty – 10:41 – Dmitry Orlov 2 minutes for Holding
Wild Penalty – 12:11 – Nino Niederreiter 2 minutes for Roughing
Capitals Penalty – 12:11 – John Carlson 2 minutes for Roughing
Capitals Penalty – 12:18 – Madison Bowey 2 minutes for Delay of Game
Wild PPG – 14:08 – Matt Dumba (6) from Mikko Koivu (10) and Marcus Foligno (3)
Capitals Penalty – 17:41 – Evgeny Kuznetsov 2 minutes for Elbowing
End of 3rd – WAS – 5 MIN – 2
Shots 33 28
Faceoffs 30 29
Hits 09 21
PP 0/2 1/6
This was a good win for the Capitals. The return of Tom Wilson was definitely a boost for the Capitals. However, the third period was dominated by the Wild as they out shot the Capitals 14-6, but on the plus side the Capitals did score on their first 2 shots of the 3rd period. Also the penalties were a killer this period to end the game.
Washington (8-6-3 19pts) @ Winnipeg (10-5-1 21pts)
Minnesota (11-5-2 24pts) v. Vancouver (10-8-2 22pts)