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Capitals host Wild in matchup of streaking clubs

(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of streaking teams will try to continue their hot play on Thursday, as the Washington Capitals welcome the Minnesota Wild for a clash at the Verizon Center.

Both the Capitals and the Wild enter Thursday's battle in D.C. riding three- game winning streaks. Minnesota also has claimed victory in six of its past seven trips to the ice, while the Caps have come out on top in six of their last eight tilts.

Minnesota has outscored the opposition by a 13-4 margin during its three-game winning streak and is coming off Tuesday's 5-1 rout of the visiting Calgary Flames.

Zach Parise recorded two goals and an assist against the Flames, helping the Wild post their third three-game winning streak of the season. Minnesota last won four in a row during a 7-0 stretch from March 14-27 of last season.

Mikko Koivu scored once and assisted on two other goals on Tuesday for Minnesota, which fell behind 1-0 before dominating the rest of the way and concluding a four-game homestand with a third straight win.

"I thought we had a sluggish start, but we got better as the game went on and capitalized on our chances," said Parise.

Josh Harding, who posted his second shutout of the season in Sunday's 4-0 win over New Jersey, turned aside 24-of-25 shots in another strong performance between the pipes. Justin Fontaine and Zenon Konopka also potting goals in the blowout.

Minnesota hopes to stay hot during a two-game road trip that begins tonight in D.C. The Wild, who are set to visit Carolina on Saturday, are just 2-3-1 as the guest this season compared to a stellar 7-1-2 record in St. Paul.

The Wild are 1-5-0 all-time in D.C. and haven't earned a road win against the Capitals since Nov. 21, 2002. Minnesota has dropped three in a row at Washington since that victory and the Caps have taken three of the last five overall meetings in this series.

Washington has posted a goal differential of plus-12 over its last three games, beating the opposition by a combined 16-4 margin during the win streak.

The latest victory came in the middle test of a three-game homestand, as Washington pounded the visiting New York Islanders, 6-2. Alex Ovechkin led the way in the blowout, returning from a two-game absence to deliver two goals and an assist.

Washington used a five-goal second period and four power-play markers to register its third consecutive victory. Marcus Johansson and Tom Wilson both netted a goal and an assist in the rout, with John Carlson and Alexander Urbom also scoring for the Capitals.

"Our power play clicks almost all of the time," Capitals head coach Adam Oates remarked. "We talk about it all the time, (that) we stop ourselves. We should be in a position that we should feel that on a given night we stop ourselves, they don't stop us."

Nicklas Backstrom assisted on three of Washington's power-play tallies, while Braden Holtby made 34 saves to help make Ovechkin's comeback from an upper- body injury a successful one.

Ovechkin has three goals and two assists over five career outings against the Wild. Parise has amassed 18 points on eight goals and 10 assists in 25 lifetime appearances versus the Capitals.

Washington, which will visit Phoenix and Colorado during a two-game road trip this weekend, is 5-3-0 as the home team this season.

11/07 10:59:52 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 17Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia1Final | Box
NY Rangers «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. New York leads series, 1-0.
Chicago3Final(OT3) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota4Final(OT) | Box
Colorado «5Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Los Angeles3Final | Box
San Jose «6Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Jose 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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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
DET 7
CLE 5
Final
MIN 7
TOR 0
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TEX 8
SEA 6
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LOS 2
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SDP 1
COL 3
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PIT 11
MIL 2
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WAS 0
STL 8
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TAM 2
NYY 10
Final
MIN 9
TOR 5
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CWS 1
BOS 3
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HOU 1
KAN 5
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CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
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STL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
TOR
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
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NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
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CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:40pm Tonight
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PHI
 
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OAK
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
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ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
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NYR 4
PHI 1
Final
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CHI 3
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MIN 4
Final
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LOS 3
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TAM
MON
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DET
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DAL
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DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
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