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Capitals @ Wild, Line Combinations, Notes, Key Figures

Can Minnesota end their season long losing streak?

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Line Combinations

Tonight the Minnesota Wild host the league's best the Washington Capitals. Despite playing one of their "better" games on Tuesday against the Stars, Minnesota still found themselves on the losing effort as the losing streak piles on. Minnesota is also riding a franchise record losing streak on home ice too. The Wild will again be without Jared Spurgeon who is still day-to-day and his return for Saturday is still questionable. With no Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin shelved, the Wild must play a disciplined game against the league's best (everything...) offense. Lines wont be too different tonight either, the Wild's third line had a really strong game against the Stars. But look for Minnesota to lean on their top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle tonight. The line has just two goals in the last four days. The second line has had a ton of shots fired on net too, just none that have lit the lamp. Minnesota has registered at least 35 shots in four of its last five games and have won ZERO of those games.

Washington Notes

The Washington Capitals have won nearly forty games this year before even losing ten in regulation. They own the league's best offense and best power play, their goals against is second best in the league and penalty kill ranks fourth. Alex Ovechkin who some called overrated a few years ago (insert fart noise) has 31 goals this season and is on pace for 47. Centers Evgeny Kuznetsov (everything Minnesota wanted Mikael Granlund to be...) and Nicklas Backstrom have led the way all season long and are Washington's top two point getters this season. But the man that has really stolen the show is goaltender Braden Holtby. Holtby has won 34 games and lost just five in regulation. And maybe the craziest stat of the day, Holtby has just ONE regulation loss in his last 31 games... Good luck, Minnesota.

Key Figures

Washington’s 19 road wins are the most road victories through a team’s first 26 road games in NHL history.

The Capitals have posted a 9-2-2 record against Western Conference teams this season, outscoring their opponents 47-32 in those games.

Minnesota is 7-1 all time against Washington in St. Paul.

Minnesota has scored a power-play goal in four straight games. On home ice the Wild lead all Western Conference teams on the power play, scoring on 17-of-72 opportunities at Xcel Energy Center (23.6%).