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Capitals vs. Wild Recap: Caps Can’t Tame Wild, Fall 4-2

A back-and-forth battle at Capital One goes the Wild’s way

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after putting together a thrilling overtime comeback victory over the Islanders, the Caps were back home and back in action against the visiting Wild. While his troops performed pretty well in the second half of last night’s win, Peter Laviolette took the opportunity to shake up the lines a bit and inject a little more NAK into them for the second of back-to-back games:

Here’s Tuesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Nice multi-point effort from both Martin Fehervary and Alex Ovechkin, with Fehervary picking up a goal and an assist while Ovechkin grabbed a pair of helpers. And congrats to Trevor van Riemsdyk on Career Point #100!

Minus: The Caps let the Wild get in Charlie Lindgren’s way much too much tonight, with three goals coming via point shot through a hefty screen.

A few more notes on the game:

  • This one got off to a sleepy start, with two non-rival teams feeling each other out in their first meeting of the season. How sleepy? Well, the two teams generated just a single shot on goal apiece through the first half of the first period.
  • Caps finally start putting puck on net by midway point, with 7-8 straight before Minny’s second. Here’s how it looked by the end of the first:
  • One of those shots found the back of the net for the Caps, with Martin Fehervary jumping onto the ice, engaging in a nice give-and-go with none other than Noted Elite Playmaker Alex Ovechkin, and firing the puck past Filip Gustavsson to put the Caps up 1-0.
  • The Caps didn’t have much time to get comfortable with the lead, as less than a minute into the second period, a failed clear by Trevor van Riemsdyk ended up on the stick of Jared Spurgeon, whose knucklepuck point shot found its way past Charlie Lindgren to tie the game up at 1. Blech.
  • Another nice passing play put the Caps back on top a quarter of the way through the second. N.E.P. Ovechkin slipped a stealthy backhand pass to Fehervary, who found Dylan Strome in front of the net and Strome deflected the puck over Gustavsson’s shoulder.
  • The see-saw game continued about eight minutes later when Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin used Ryan Reaves - whose only talent is being a big, non-translucent body - as a screen to put a wrist shot past Lindgren for a 2-2 tie.
  • Shortly after, the Wild took their first lead of the game on yet another shot from the blueline. Reaves’ singular talent strikes again, as there’s no way Lindgren could have seen that shot through him (and TvR, who was tussling with Reaves in front of the net).
  • The two teams engaged in a bit of a battle of attrition in the third period, with the Wild clinging to their one-goal lead... until an empty-netter in the final minute iced the game for Minnesota.

Alas, while the Caps dominated for long stretches of this one, they seemed to run out of steam. Meanwhile the Wild managed to do their block-the-goalie’s-view-and-shoot thing better than the Caps could and walk away with two points.

Back at it Thursday in Arizona.