NHL Game Summary - Washington at Minnesota
(Thursday, October 12th)
Final Score: Minnesota 3, Washington 2 (SO)
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Mikko Koivu scored the game-winner in the shootout to give the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals at Xcel Energy Center.
Alexander Ovechkin was stopped by Manny Fernandez and Pavol Demitra followed with a backhander that he banged off the left post.
Alexander Semin followed and Fernandez stopped his backhander with a right arm save. Koivu then gave the Wild the advantage when he went from the forehand to the backhand and slipped it past the outstretched right pad of Brent Johnson.
Richard Zednik was the last chance for Washington, but Fernandez made a pad save on the wrister to seal the win.
Kim Johnsson scored both regulation goals and Fernandez finished with 24 saves for the Wild, who are off to their best start in franchise history with four straight wins.
Minnesota has won all four of its games this year by one goal.
"What a great start," said Johnsson. "At the start of the season we couldn't even dream of this. They've been close games but it shows that we have great character on this team and it helps to win those close games."
Dainius Zubrus and Semin each scored a goal and Johnson finished with 36 saves for the Capitals, who have lost their last four games against Minnesota.
"That's a pretty good team we played against and we stayed with them," said Washington defenseman Ben Clymer. "They have a good power play and that was our downfall."
The Capitals took a 1-0 lead in the first when Chris Clark kept the puck in at the blueline and dished it off to Zubrus flying down the left wing. Zubrus skated to the left circle and unleashed a slapshot that went over the blocker of Fernandez 4:26 into the first.
The Wild, though, tied the game with a well executed power-play. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had the disc at the top of the right circle and dished it to Koivu down low on the right side of the net. Koivu spotted Johnsson cutting in from the left point and hit him with a pass on the left side and Johnsson tapped the puck into the open net with 6:42 left in the first.
Washington, though, took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission with a power- play goal. Semin had the puck along the left boards, skated into the slot and snapped a heavy wrister that beat Fernandez on the glove side with 2:46 left.
Minnesota tied the game in the second on the power play. Marian Gaborik flicked a shot on net from down low that Johnson made a save on, but the rebound popped out to the slot and Johnsson fired the wobbling disc into the left corner of the net 6:56 in.
The final period was pretty calm until a burst of penalties towards the end of the frame resulted in a 4-on-3 power play for the Wild. The Capitals, though, kept the passes to the outside and Minnesota was unable to get a quality scoring chance and the game went to overtime.
The Capitals return home to face Atlanta on Saturday...Minnesota wraps up its five-game homestand on Saturday against Columbus...Washington went 1-for-6 on the power play...The Wild were successful on two of their 10 power plays...Demitra, who the Wild acquired from Los Angeles in the offseason, has one goal and five assists on the season.
10/12 23:36:33 ET