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National Hockey League
Preview
Washington at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 11, 2016
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Minnesota Wild are mired in the worst home losing streak in team history and the prospect of ending the slide appears dim with the league's best team coming to town. Minnesota has dropped six in a row overall (0-4-2) and six straight (0-3-3) at Xcel Energy Center as they prepare to host Alex Ovechkin and the red-hot Washington Capitals.

The Wild remained winless at home since Dec. 28 after dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to Dallas on Tuesday - their 11th loss in 12 games (1-9-2). “We’ve got to get a win, we’ve got to back it up with another," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "The way things are going, we need some things to feel good about right now.” The Capitals are riding a four-game winning streak and hold a six-point edge over the Chicago Blackhawks for the league's best record. The Capitals halted a seven-game skid at Minnesota with a 3-2 victory in March 2015.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN-Plus Washington, FSN North (Minnesota), NHL.TV

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (39-9-4): After posting three consecutive 3-2 victories, Washington's offense erupted in a 5-3 triumph at Nashville on Tuesday as Marcus Johansson scored one goal and set up two others to improve the team to an NHL-best 19-5-2 away from home. Forward Andre Burakovsky celebrated his 21st birthday Tuesday by running his point streak to eight games, a span in which he has four goals and six assists. Ovechkin has scored 10 goals in 12 games to give him 31 on the season - one behind Patrick Kane for the league lead.

ABOUT THE WILD (23-20-10): Ailing captain Mikko Koivu and fellow forwards Jason Pominville and Charlie Coyle all skipped Wednesday's optional skate, but defenseman Jared Spurgeon was on the ice and could be back in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday's game due to injury. Tuesday's loss dropped Minnesota to 1-10 in overtime and shootouts, prompting Yeo to say he will shuffle his lineup the next time a game goes beyond regulation. "Going forward, I’ve got some different ideas that we have that we’ll try and we’ll continue to do that," Yeo said.

OVERTIME

1. Ovechkin, who has six goals in eight games versus Minnesota, needs one tally to tie Jean Beliveau (507) for 39th place on the all-time list.

2. The Wild have scored on the power play in four straight games and six of the past seven.

3. Capitals G Braden Holtby has one regulation loss in the last 31 games.

PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Wild 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Washington 39-9-3-1 W4 20-4-2-0 19-5-1-1 5-0-1-0 34-9-2-1 14-3-1-1
Minnesota 23-20-8-2 L6 14-8-3-1 9-12-5-1 1-4-0-0 22-16-8-2 9-8-5-0
Last Meeting
Washington Minnesota
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/19/15 WAS 3 MIN 2 27 28 0-4 30 24 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Washington A. Ovechkin 2
Minnesota M. Granlund 2
Goals Player  
Washington A. Ovechkin 2
Minnesota C. Folin 1
Assists Player  
Washington K. Alzner 1
Minnesota M. Granlund 2
Saves Player  
Washington B. Holtby 28
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 24
Season
Total Points Player  
Washington E. Kuznetsov 60
Minnesota M. Koivu 40
Goals Player  
Washington A. Ovechkin 36
Minnesota Z. Parise 19
Assists Player  
Washington E. Kuznetsov 44
Minnesota R. Suter 29
Saves Player  
Washington B. Holtby 1204
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 1129
Quickchart Matchup
Washington Off vs  Minnesota Def
3.29 GF
2.45 GA
30.5 Shots
28.9 Shots
39 PP
28 PK
Minnesota Off vs  Washington Def
2.45 GF
2.25 GA
29.1 Shots
28.7 Shots
28 PP
26 PK