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Recap: Orpik, Ovechkin, and Orlov Oh My! Caps Clip Wild 3 to 2

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On #HoltBeast night the Capitals' number one bested the visitors and led the home team to a 3 to 2 victory over the Minnesota Wild behind his 32 saves.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ice Tracker - Game Summary - Event Summary - Shot Report - Faceoff Summary - Play-by-Play - Home TOI - Visitor TOI - Advanced Stats at: war-on-ice, hockeystats, Natural Stat Trick and more via Nice Time On Ice

The Capitals played the Wild even through 55 minutes but an impressive late goal from Dmitry Orlov bested Minnesota's Darcy Kuemper and gave Washington the two points. After a lackluster performance at home against the Canadiens tonight's outing was an improved performance despite another slow start.

First up here's Friday night's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: Orlov's hands in the offensive (and currently only offensive) zone. Wow.
  • Minus: Washington's slow starts - Braden Holtby had to be good early and often. With March less than a week away it's an issue that Barry Trotz needs to nip in the bud.

Ten and a half notes on the game.

  • Mikko Koivu got Minnesota on the board first with a late power play goal that came courtesy of Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville at the game's 19 minute mark. Tom Wilson was in the penalty box serving a first period minor penalty, again, and the visitors were able to bite first.
  • Washington was thoroughly outshot (by nine) in an opening period that continued a trend of slow starts for the team. They have been outscored in the first period by the competition in five of their last six contests.
  • Despite the start the Capitals were able to draw even less than a minute into the second period thanks to a friendly bounce after a Brooks Orpik near net snapshot. With the puck going wide to Kuemper's left it hit the shaft of teammate Marco Scandella's stick and into the twine to bring Verizon Center to life.
  • The momentum was only temporary though as Nino Niederreiter put Minnesota ahead again less than five minutes later. On a semi breakaway from inside the blue line he finished his rush with a skilled top shelf tuck after shielding the puck from a Taylor Chorney backcheck.
  • The Capitals were afforded their first man advantage of the night after Keumper was whistled for delay of game early in the third period. His net, at one moment off its moorings, bounced back into place before Keumper, thinking the net was misaligned, nudged it away from the goal line. A vocal Justin Williams drew the referee's attention to it and they correctly sent Niederreiter to the box on his goaltender's behalf.
  • And on the power play Alex Ovechkin tallied his fortieth goal of the year with a sharp short side slap shot that bested Keumper on his blocker side. A fine feed from Matt Niskanen was all the captain needed to tie it.
  • We have been treated to eight years of forty goal seasons from Ovechkin, a yearly feat that has been occurring so often it has become the norm, if not subpar . How lucky are we?
  • With that goal Ovechkin continued his dominance of the Wild despite limited opportunity, tallying his tenth goal in his tenth game against the Western Conference club.
  • Fellow Russian Orlov completed the third period comeback with a nifty through his legs deke and backhanded shot that pinballed its way underneath Keumper's pads. Orlov's seventh of the season gave Washington their first lead of the game and the only one they would need in securing the win.
  • John Carlson missed his 13th game of the year, having just recently returned the lineup (January 27th against Philadelphia). He was out with a lower body injury and will be reevaluated Saturday morning.
    • Thanks to Montanacapsfan for tonight's headline!

Game highlights:

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