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NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Washington
(Thursday, November 7th)
Final Score: Washington 3, Minnesota 2 (SO)
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Nicklas Backstrom scored the lone goal of the shootout in the third round to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday at Verizon Center.
After the first four shooters came up empty, Backstrom skated in and rifled a wrister from between the circles past the glove-side of Josh Harding.
Braden Holtby, who finished with 33 saves, then turned away Charlie Coyle to send the Capitals to their fourth straight win.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 13th goal of the season to open the scoring, while Marcus Johansson netted the equalizer with 3:08 left in regulation to force the extra session.
Coyle and Mikael Granlund each scored once for the Wild, who had won six of their last seven games coming into the contest.
Harding finished with 25 saves in the setback.
"Right now, I think he's playing with a lot of confidence," Minnesota forward Zach Parise said of Harding. "If he sees the puck, he's saving it. It's a good feeling for us. He couldn't really do much about either of those goals tonight; there's nothing he could do."
With the Caps trailing 2-1 and just over three minutes remaining in regulation, Johansson wristed a shot from the right circle that deflected off a Minnesota defender and trickled across the goal line to tie the game.
"What I like about the tying goal is it took a lot of hard work," Washington head coach Adam Oates said. "We fought through a lot of frustration because they were giving you nothing. It was hard to get shots to the net."
Washington's Martin Erat was whistled for interference just over two minutes later, but Holtby came up with some big saves to kill off the penalty before holding off the Wild in overtime to send the game into a shootout.
Ovechkin's power-play marker 8:10 into the game gave Washington an early edge, but Coyle countered with a power-play tally of his own with 2:09 left in the opening frame to tie the game at 1-1.
Granlund gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead at 6:07 of the middle stanza when he recovered his own rebound in the slot and swatted a bouncing puck into the back of the net.
The Wild fell to 1-5-1 all-time in Washington and haven't earned a road win against the Capitals since Nov. 21, 2002 ... Washington improved to 6-3-0 at home this season ... Both teams finished 1-for-3 on the power play.
11/07 22:55:47 ET
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