NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Washington
(Tuesday, February 26th)
Final Score: Washington 4, Minnesota 1
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Brooks Laich scored twice and Olaf Kolzig made 34 saves, as the Washington Capitals defeated the Minnesota Wild, 4-1, at Verizon Center.
Shaone Morrisonn and Eric Fehr also scored for the Capitals, who earlier Tuesday acquired former All-Star forward Sergei Fedorov from Columbus among other deals prior to the trade deadline. Washington, which entered the contest winless in its last three games, also acquired goaltender Cristobal Huet from the Montreal Canadiens for a second-round pick in 2009 and sent Matt Pettinger to Vancouver for forward Matt Cooke.
"The trade deadline is always scary," said Laich. "We are happy with our additions today. We think we made our club stronger and we can't wait for them (new players) to get here."
Branko Radivojevic tallied the only goal for Minnesota, which fell to 0-3-1 in its last four games overall. The Wild completed a dubious trade earlier in the day, acquiring troubled forward Chris Simon from the New York Islanders for a sixth-round draft pick in June's draft. Simon, of course, has served multiple lengthy suspensions in recent seasons for out-of-control behavior on the ice.
The Capitals opened the scoring before three minutes elapsed in the first period. Washington's Tomas Fleischmann held the puck near his own blue line and sent a perfect lead pass for Laich, who streaked through the neutral zone, split Wild defensemen Kim Johnsson and Sean Hill and beat Backstrom through the pads on a clear breakaway at the 2:41 mark.
"The first goal we got split, and obviously we'd like to have that one back," said Hill.
Midway through the first, the Caps grabbed a two-goal edge on Morrisonn's first goal of the season -- a one-timer from the high slot with 9:49 remaining -- assisted by Laich and Jeff Schultz.
Radivojevic's fourth goal 13:10 into the middle session cut Minnesota's deficit in half. Eric Belanger released a shot from the right side above the circle and the puck deflected off the left leg of Radivojevic, who was atop the crease, and into the back of the cage.
After Fehr tallied at 15:59 of the second, Laich's second goal of the game gave the Caps a 4-1 lead with 1:33 to play before the second intermission. Following a faceoff at center ice, the puck was loose in the neutral zone and the Wild defense corps was nowhere to be found as Laich gained control, skated through the slot untouched and used a deke move to light the lamp from in close near the left post.
The Wild managed eight shots on goal in the final frame and the Caps cruised to the three-goal win.
"We have to be confident in the team that we have in here, and I think we are confident in the team," said Wild forward Brian Rolston. "We have to step up, and that's what we're going to do."
The Capitals are now 16-13-3 at home this season...This marked the first visit to Washington by the Wild since November 21, 2002...Attendance was 17,391.
02/27 00:48:36 ET