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Alex Ovechkin scored to end his NHL career-long 10-game goal drought, and the Washington Capitals ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Verizon Center on Tuesday.
Washington (45-17-7) leads the NHL, Eastern Conference and Metropolitan Division.
Ovechkin scored at 14:52 of the second period to give Washington a 2-0 lead; it was his 28th goal of the season and first since Feb. 19.
Nate Schmidt, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jay Beagle scored, and Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the Capitals.
Matt Dumba and Eric Staal scored, and Devan Dubnyk made 36 saves for Minnesota (43-19-6), which has lost five of its past seven and fell one point behind the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference and Central Division when Chicago defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2.
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“You’re fighting back, continuing to play,” Staal said. “We didn’t just throw our sticks on the ice in the third. We played and continued to fight and battle and got it within one, and then you make another mistake there on a (line) change and cheap nhl jerseys and you’re down by two again. It seems like those mistakes are just hitting the back of the net right now for us. We’ve got to find a way to get a lead and build a lead and play that way, because if we do that we’re a lot more effective.”
Dumba scored his eighth 37 seconds into the third period to make it 3-1. Staal made it 3-2 on the power play at 4:37 with his 23rd.
Beagle’s goal with 5:41 remaining in the third period gave Washington a 4-2 lead. It was his 12th of the season, first in 16 games dating to Feb. 4.
“You just felt it a little bit more in the room, and I think that was the part that you could sense before we went on the ice,” Schmidt said. “Even after the first period, it just felt like no matter what happened we were going to be able to put our nose down and just keep playing.”
Schmidt scored with 12 seconds left in the first period for a 1-0 lead, his second goal of the season. Kuznetsov made it 3-0 at 17:08 of the second period on the power play, his 16th.