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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 4th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (20-15-6) at Minnesota Wild (21-17-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals are looking to avoid matching their longest winless streak of the season. They can do so by securing their first victory in Minnesota as they visit the Wild on Saturday night.

The Capitals have lost three straight and fell for the second time beyond regulation over that span with a 4-3 overtime setback to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. Jeff Skinner ended the game by completing a hat trick 1:20 into the extra frame.

A Washington turnover in the offensive zone triggered a 3-on-1 rush by Carolina and Skinner tapped in Ryan Murphy's feed past Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who ended with 29 saves.

Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer and Steve Oleksy all scored during a lively second period for the Capitals, who are 1-2-3 over their last six games.

"We are not playing our best hockey, but we are finding a way to get some points in the mix," Oleksy said.

Washington has gone four in a row without a win just once prior this season, an 0-3-1 skid from Nov. 20-27.

Ovechkin will look to stay on track after netting his NHL-leading 31st goal of the season. He had gone four straight games without a point for the first time this season.

The winger has four goals and two assists in six career games versus the Wild, scoring once in a 3-2 shootout victory at home over Minnesota on Nov. 7. Nicklas Backstrom had the lone tally of the shootout.

It was Washington's second victory in a row over the Wild, but the franchise has gone 0-5-1 all-time in Minnesota during this series.

The Capitals visit a Wild club that snapped a season-high six-game slide with Thursday's 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville potted goals 1:46 apart during Minnesota's three-goal second period.

Jason Zucker capped the second-period surge with his first goal of the season, while Niklas Backstrom backstopped the victory with 19 saves for his first win in nine decisions.

He got the start in net as Josh Harding was battling illness.

"Backstrom is a huge story in the game for me," said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "He was huge, even though we didn't give up a ton. We played a better game in front of him."

Kyle Brodziak was awarded an empty-net goal for the Wild, who had lost all six of their previous games in regulation and won for the first time on a four- game homestand that ends tonight.

Minnesota had won two straight in a shootout before the six-game skid.

01/04 10:52:43 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal «4Final | Box
Tampa Bay1Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Detroit «1Final | Box
Boston0Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Detroit leads series, 1-0.
Dallas01st Prd 18:14 | Box
Anaheim0@theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, FSN-SW
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
Final
PIT 3
MIL 5
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 1
9th
CLE 2
TOR 3
 
8th
DET 6
ANA 11
 
Final
NYM 0
ATL 6
 
9th
BOS 4
BAL 7
 
8th
TAM 6
NYY 5
 
9th
MIA 4
SEA 4
 
7th
TEX 11
CWS 0
 
7th
KAN 5
MIN 0
 
6th
COL 8
PHI 1
 
1st
OAK 0
HOU 0
 
1st
LOS 0
ARI 0
 
1st
SDP 0
SFG 0
 
Final
TAM 1
MON 4
Final
BOS 0
DET 1
1st
ANA 0
DAL 0
 
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3