WASHINGTON (AP) — Captain Jared Spurgeon scored twice, fellow defenseman Jonas Brodin also had a goal with traffic in front of the net and the Minnesota Wild beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to three games.
All three Wild goals came with a big forward setting a screen in front of Washington’s Charlie Lindgren: 6-foot-6 Jordan Greenway on Spurgeon’s first, 6-2 Ryan Reaves on Brodin’s and 6-2 Brandon Duhaime on Spurgeon’s second that put Minnesota ahead late in the second period. Reaves also had an assist, and Duhaime fought Nicolas Aube-Kubel.
Big bodies blocking Lindgren’s view compensated for the Wild being outshot 36-22 by the Capitals, who were playing the second half of a back to back after rallying to win in overtime Monday at the New York Islanders. The Wild erased multiple deficits in this one and sealed it with an empty-netter from Joel Eriksson Ek to get their road trip off to a strong start.
Filip Gustavsson made 24 saves, including a right-heel kick stop with the puck on the goal line in the final minutes, validating the coaching staff’s decision to start him instead of going back to three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury. His 12 saves in the first period alone kept the game within reach for Minnesota despite putting just three shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes.
Alex Ovechkin assisted on Capitals goals by Martin Fehervary and Dylan Strome, who ended a four-game point drought. Washington has lost four of its six games, going 0 for 13 on the power play during that stretch.
NOTES: Minnesota’s Connor Dewar had two assists for his second multipoint game of the season and third of his NHL career. … Capitals center Nic Dowd will be out for “a bit” because of an undisclosed lower-body injury coach Peter Laviolette said. … Winger Anthony Mantha was a healthy scratch for Washington for the third time in five games, replaced by Aube-Kubel. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov was demoted to the fourth line after a rough game Monday night on Long Island.
Wild: At Carolina on Thursday night.
Capitals: At Arizona on Thursday night.
Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports