Oshie, Holtby guide Capitals by Wild
WASHINGTON -- T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist, Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots and the Washington Capitals defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Saturday night.
Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov also had goals for Washington (11-9-1).
Nino Niederreiter scored for the Wild (9-8-2), who had a four-game winning streak stopped. Alex Stalock, making his first start since Halloween and his first career appearance against the Capitals, had 40 saves.
Stalock stopped Chandler Stephensen's penalty shot with 4:49 left to keep the Wild within 2-1.
But a four-minute high sticking penalty on Minnesota's Ryan Suter with 3:13 left in the game led to Kuznetsov's clincher with 2:37 remaining.
Alex Ovechkin left the game with 11:00 left in the second period after taking a puck to the face. He fell to the ice and left a trail of blood behind from a cut lip when he went to the dressing room. He returned to start the third period.
After a pair of ugly road losses, the Capitals successfully returned to Capital One Arena, where they have won five in a row.
Saturday night opened a stretch where Washington will play nine of 10 games at home, giving them a chance to gain ground in the bunched-up Metropolitan Division, where seven points separated the eight teams when play began Saturday.
A scoreless game gave way to a flurry of goals midway through the first period and Washington scored first.
On a power play, Oshie capped a pretty passing sequence when he one-timed Kuznetsov's feed past Stalock from the slot at'9:42. It was Oshie's tenth of the season and seventh on the power play.
The goal snapped a streak of 17 straight power plays killed off by the Wild.
A Washington penalty soon yielded the equalizer as Niederreiter scored on the rebound of Mikael Granlund's shot at 12:02. Niederreiter has scored in three straight games.
The tie didn't last long as an Orlov blast from the point eluded Stalock's blocker just 44 seconds later to make it 2-1.
The second period was scoreless.
Minnesota nearly tied it with under two minutes left, but Holtby made a stellar play to get his glove on a one-timer from Kyle Quincey in the slot.
NOTES: Minnesota was 1-for-4 on the power play while Washington was 1-for-3. ... Washington has won six straight versus Minnesota. ... Capitals D Aaron Ness, LW Nathan Walker and D Christian Djoos were scratched. ... D Gustav Olofsson was scratched for the Wild. ... The Capitals are 6-1-1 when they score power play goal. ... Minnesota's Jason Zucker saw his career-high five-game goal streak end. ... Wild RW Mikael Granlund had an assist, giving him four in his last three games.