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Friday, November 13th (All times eastern)

Minnesota Wild (7-10-1) at Washington Capitals (11-3-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will aim for a fourth consecutive victory tonight when they host the Minnesota Wild in an interconference clash at Verizon Center.

The Capitals have won three in a row despite not having superstar winger Alex Ovechkin for any of those contests. Ovechkin, who has missed the last four games with an upper-body strain, is not expected to play tonight or on Saturday against New Jersey, but the Russian sniper could be back for Tuesday's test against the Rangers in New York.

Washington earned its most recent victory in dramatic fashion as captain Chris Clark tallied the deciding goal in the 11th round of the shootout to lift the Caps to Wednesday's 5-4 home win over the New York Islanders.

Clark opened the 11th and final round with a snapshot under the crossbar, and Semyon Varlamov was able to make a pad stop on Mark Streit to end the contest.

"I'm just trying to see with every shot which ones go in and which ones aren't the best," Clark said in anticipation of his chance. "It's something you have time to look at especially if things run this long."

Alexander Semin recorded a pair of goals in regulation for the Capitals. Semin's first goal came eight seconds into the game, tying the Washington franchise record for fastest goal from the start of a contest, set by Gaetan Duchesne on March 14, 1987 at St. Louis

Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr also tallied while Varlamov finished the game with 25 saves. Jose Theodore got the start but was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots in less than seven minutes.

Caps defenseman Jeff Schultz is questionable for tonight's game after missing the previous two outings with a lower-body injury. Forward David Steckel is also questionable after leaving the team Wednesday to be with his family following the death of his grandmother. Steckel is expected to return to Washington today, but it's uncertain if he will be in the lineup tonight.

Also, Washington could have centerman Boyd Gordon back on the ice tonight after he missed the last 12 games with a back injury. Gordon is on injured reserved and would have to be activated before tonight's game.

Washington, which is completing a three-game homestand tonight, is 6-1-3 as the host this season.

The Wild have recorded a point in three straight games, but are coming off Thursday's shootout loss, which ended a two-game winning streak. Ryan Malone scored the equalizer with 14.7 seconds left in regulation and Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos had goals in the shootout to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 victory over visiting Minnesota.

Owen Nolan, Kim Johnsson and Benoit Pouliot had the goals for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom made 19 saves in the loss.

"They're all disappointed in there," Wild head coach Todd Richards said. "That's the emotion you want from them. You want them to be disappointed we didn't get the win...They played extremely hard, did a lot of really good things. But we're still finding ways to give teams goals and opportunities."

The Wild are playing the third of four straight on the road tonight and will close the swing Sunday at Carolina. Minnesota is just 2-8-1 as the guest this season.

Tonight marks the only scheduled meeting of the season between the Wild and Capitals. Minnesota posted a 4-3 home victory over the Washington last year, giving it five wins in the last six meetings. The Wild have lost three of their four all-time trips to D.C.

11/13 10:34:01 ET


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