0 - 3 Final
  for this game

Caps blank Wild to keep pace in East playoff race

Mar 26, 2012 - 12:47 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Braden Holtby posted 28 saves for his first shutout of the season to help the Washington Capitals take a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Alex Ovechkin posted a goal and an assist, while Jason Chimera and Mathieu Perreault also scored for the Capitals, who had dropped four of five coming into the game.

"He's a battler and makes lots of plays on the puck," said Washington head coach Dale Hunter about Holtby. "He likes to play the puck and that can help out the defense. Sometimes it's kind of risky, but tonight he made everything work for him."

The win for Washington gives the team possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The team is tied with idle Buffalo for points with 84, but Washington holds the tiebreaker and each team has six games to play.

Washington will host Buffalo on Tuesday.

Matt Hackett gave up all three goals on 23 shots for the Wild, who have lost five of their last seven.

"We talked about getting the puck to the net today and we didn't do it," said Minnesota defenseman Steven Kampfer. "We let them dictate the type of game today and that's all on us."

After the first period passed scoreless, the Capitals took a 1-0 lead midway through the second when Alexander Semin skated through the neutral zone and from the low right circle he passed it over to the left where Chimera redirected it in.

Just over five minutes later, Washington made it a 2-0 game on the power play. Troy Brouwer took a pass from Ovechkin in the neutral zone and skated down the right wing. From down low, he threw the puck across the goalmouth to the left side where Perreault one-timed it home.

Ovechkin scored the third goal of the game at the 8:31 mark of the third when his quick shot from the left circle snuck through the legs of a defender and the goaltender for his 36th of the season.

Holtby stopped 12 shots in the first period, but needed to make just five saves in the second before turning aside 11 in the third for his third career shutout.

Game Notes

Minnesota returns home to face the Rangers on Tuesday...The home team has won seven straight and 11 of 12 in the series...Washington was 1-for-3 on the power play, while Minnesota went 0-for-2.