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Caps vs. Wild Recap: Ovechkin Hat Trick Tips Caps in OT 5-4

The Washington Capitals topped the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, riding multi-goal performances from Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It wouldn’t be a Capitals game involving Bruce Boudreau without a little firewagon action; a hat trick and 9 goals later, the twilight’s last gleaming showed the Capitals had prevailed.

Here's Tuesday night's Plus/Minus:

Plus: The goal race between Oshie and Ovechkin has just been a joy to watch, as the two boys split five goals tonight - including a hat trick for the captain - to keep jockeying for scoring supremacy.

Minus: Tom Wilson got his beautiful face blooded and stitched, but it resulted in the incredible photo you see above.

And now, this...

Ten more notes on the game:

1. Tuesday night marked the beginning of a 5-game road trip for the Washington Capitals. Alone on the frontier and far from the companions of their gentler fancies, what fortunes would await our skating Sacajaweas?

2. The northwest passage through Minnesota stayed placid until twelve minutes into in the first frame. Warroad, Minnesota native and bona fide American hero TJ Oshie exhibited textbook net-crashing, picking up a rebound and stuffing it past goalie Devan Dubynk to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. It was Oshie’s 31st score of the season, and he celebrated his Baskin Robbins anniversary by taking sole possession of the Capitals goal lead away from Alex Ovechkin.

3. Minutes later, as Tom Wilson and Minnesota’s Zach Parise curled past one another at center ice, Wilson’s irresponsibly elevated stick caught Parise frighteningly hard and high. Parise crumpled to the ice, holding his face and kicking his feet in visible pain. Two trainers had to help Parise to the locker room, and Wilson got slapped with a four-minute double minor. The Capitals killed off the whole thing, though, and combined with an earlier kill, had the boo birds serenading the home team by the end of the period.

4. Parise would not return to the game, and moments after Tom Wilson emerged from the penalty box, Minnesota’s Chris Stewart challenged him to fisticuffs to defend his honor and the honor of his clan. The two shared a brief but bloody bout, and Wilson would head to the locker room to casually receive several stitches. He returned for the second period, because he’s a dadgum hockey player!

5. Two minutes into the second period, Jason Pominville, Guy Whose Name Is French For “Applesauce,” tied it up for Minnesota, sending home a feed from Martin Hanzal to tie it at 1-1.

6. But the fearless captain Alex Ovechkin was not to be trifled with tonight. Five minutes later, Marcus Johansson found Number 8 in his usual haunt, who then ripped an utter missile into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

7. And because he was just so indignant that mere mortals would dare step to him, Ovechkin duplicated the feat five minutes later. Circle, Ovi, dagger, 3-1. You know the drill. As the twine tickled, the goal took the Capitals scoring lead back from Oshie. Hope you enjoyed the sun for a couple minutes there, Osh Baby.

8. As the period wound down, Martin Hanzal (who is so hot right now) added a goal to his earlier assist, bringing the Wild within one at 3-2.

9. And then in the third period, the captain, perhaps the greatest pure goal scorer ever to live, sealed his hat trick with a well-aimed wrister from up high. It was Ovechkin’s 17th career hat trick, and was celebrated by plenty of newly unensconced fans at Xcel Energy Center. With his 33rd goal, this is officially NOT Ovechkin’s least productive season ever.

10. The Wild came back with a fury, though. Jared Spurgeon scored on a netfront redirection to cut the lead to one, and then, with the goalie pulled, Eric Staal tied the game 4-4 with just 26 seconds left.

11. (extra!) Free hockey means free recap! It took less than two minutes for TJ Oshie to send his hometown fans home with melancholy tummies and to kick off the Caps’ road trip with gusto, smashing home a Marcus Johansson set-up for a 5-4 Washington win.

Ovechkin and Oshie sit at 33 and 32 goals apiece, and this road trip is off to a rocking start. Next up is the Avalanche on Wednesday in Denver!

Game highlights: