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Capitals beat Wild, 3-2 in shootout

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Nicklas Backstrom scored the only goal in a shootout, and the Washington Capitals rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 Thursday night for their fourth straight victory.

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Braden Holtby had 33 saves for the Capitals before blanking the Wild during the shootout. Holtby outplayed Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding, who stopped 25 shots.

After two players from each side failed to score in the shootout, Backstrom beat Harding with a wrist shot that went into the upper left corner of the net. Holtby then denied Charlie Coyle to win it.

Coyle and Mikael Granlund scored in regulation for the Wild, whose three-game winning streak ended.

Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson had Washington's goals, which came early and late.

Ovechkin scored in the first period and Johansson forced overtime with a blast from the right circle at 16:52 of the third period. The shot came only minutes after Harding made several outstanding saves with Washington on the power play.

Minnesota had the extra man for the final 57 seconds of regulation and the opening 1:03 of overtime, but could not convert.

Granlund put Minnesota up 2-1 at 6:07 of the second period with his second goal of the season. Jason Pominville controlled a rebound on the side of the net and passed to Granlund, who sent a fluttering shot past Holtby's left shoulder.

Later in the period, Washington rookie Tom Wilson broke free down the left side. Harding kept his ground and plucked the shot out of the air with his glove.

The Capitals came into the game with an NHL-leading 26 goals in the second period, but in this one they went scoreless on nine shots.

The Wild outshot the Capitals 12-5 in a first period that produced one power-play goal from each team.

Washington's second shot resulted in the game's first goal. Less than 20 seconds after Minnesota's Nate Prosser was sent to the penalty box for cross checking, Ovechkin scored from the left circle off a pass from Backstrom at 8:10.

It was the third power-play goal in two games for Ovechkin, who needs only four more to break Peter Bondra's franchise record of 137.

Coyle scored against the league's most effective penalty-killing unit with just over two minutes left in the period. Zach Parise got an assist on the play to extend his point-scoring streak to four games.

Notes: Minnesota D Keith Ballard was scratched with an upper body injury, and is also expected to miss Saturday's game in Carolina. ... Capitals F Eric Fehr was a healthy scratch for a second straight game. ... This was only the second time in the Wild's seven games in Washington that they scored more than one goal.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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