Ovechkin nets pair of goals as Capitals beat Wild 4-3

NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn (AP)Alex Ovechkin scored twice as part of a three-point night and the Washington Capitals ended a four-game road slide by holding off the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Sunday night.

Richard Panik and Tom Wilson also scored, Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists, and Braden Holtby stopped 37 shots for his fourth straight victory. Washington moved into a tie with Colorado for the league lead with 22 road wins.

Ryan Donato, Kevin Fiala and Zach Parise scored for the Wild. Alex Stalock made 26 saves, but Minnesota lost for the first time in four games and remains one point behind Nashville, Winnipeg and Arizona for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Ovechkin, who has seven games of at least three points this season, scored twice in a first-period surge that saw Washington turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in 3 minutes, 38 seconds.

With a two-man advantage, Ovechkin ripped home a slap shot from the top of the left circle, the first power-play goal allowed by Minnesota in 10 games, a span of 21 straight kills.

Panik beat Stalock with a wrist shot 3 minutes later, and Ovechkin hammered home a feed from Kuznetsov 31 seconds after that, leading to a chant of ”Ovi, Ovi” from the contingent of lower-deck fans at that end of the arena wearing red.

Ovechkin now has 356 career regular-season road goals, surpassing Jaromir Jagr for third-most in league history. Only Wayne Gretzky (402) and Steve Yzerman (362) had more. Ovechkin also passed Phil Esposito for fifth all-time with his 144th career multi-goal game.

Ovechkin’s 11 goals in games played March 1 tie Jan. 31 for his most on a calendar day.

Fiala got the Wild within 3-2 before the period ended. He is on an Ovechkin-like run with goals in four straight games and 11 in 14.

Wilson made it 4-2 for Washington 40 seconds into the third period on a feed from Ovechkin after Kuznetsov thwarted an attempted clear by Ryan Suter. Wilson has four goals in six games.

Parise scored on the power play with 7:07 left.

NOTES: With an assist on Parise’s goal, Fiala set a career high with 49 points. … LW Ilya Kovalchuk recorded an assist, his first point in three games with the Capitals. … This was Washington’s last game outside the Eastern time zone.

UP NEXT

Capitals: home against Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Wild: home against Nashville on Tuesday.

More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP-Sports

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