Capitals
Wild
3 - 4 Final
  for this game

Clutterbuck helps Wild top Capitals

Nov 25, 2008 - 7:32 AM
By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Rookie Cal Clutterbuck scored the first two goals of his career and teammate James Sheppard's first goal of the season kept both achievements in a positive light as the Minnesota Wild survived a late flurry to escape with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Monday.

The Wild's third-round draft pick in 2006, Clutterbuck tallied in the first and second periods to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead that was stretched to 4-0 in the third period on goals from defenseman Marek Zidlicky and Sheppard.

But a short-handed Washington squad stormed back in the final six minutes, scoring three times in a three-minute, 33-second stretch that made the final 1:44 tense for the Wild and the 18,568 fans who all stood until the final horn.

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom stopped 25 of 28 shots and the Wild fought off a 6-on-5 for the final 63 seconds to snap their two-game losing streak and claim the first game of their season-long five-game homestand.

"When you get a triple insurance goal, it doesn't seem like it's going to come back," Sheppard said. "But I'm happy it was (there)."

Matt Bradley scored with 5:17 remaining to get the Capitals on the board and Alex Ovechkin upped his points streak to nine games with a goal with 3:53 left. Nicklas Backstrom then put home a power-play goal at 18:16, which gave him a nine-game points streak and cut the deficit to one.

Ultimately the comeback fell short, although Jose Theodore stopped 29 of 33 shots for Washington. The veteran netminder has had a tough time of late, allowing 13 goals in his last three starts.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau refused to put the blame on Theodore after the Wild netted a pair of power-play goals - including Zidlicky's 5-on-3 tally following back-to-back closing-hand-on-puck penalties from defenseman Tom Poti and Ovechkin in a 37-second stretch.

"I thought he was great, he kept us in the game," Boudreau said. "That's what you ask a goaltender to do. You're not going to kill every 5-on-3 and 2-on-0, but he gave us a chance to win coming into the third period, I thought."

Washington was already playing short-handed thanks to injuries to Sergei Fedorov, defenseman Mike Green and Alexander Semin. To make matters worse, Boyd Gordon and blue-liners John Erskine and Jeff Schultz all suffered various maladies during the game that ultimately forced center Brooks Laich to play shifts at defenseman in the third period.

Boudreau didn't comment on the injuries specifically, but said Erskine's status is up in the air, Schultz is "definitely out" and Gordon "might be day-to-day with back spasms."

"Right now we have lots of injuries," Ovechkin said. "Sometimes, it's hard."

Finding the back of the net had been difficult for Clutterbuck despite coach Jacques Lemaire's insistence that the rookie has a strong shot. After going scoreless in two games last season and being a minus-4 in 16 games prior to Monday, the Ontario native was rewarded for his hard work.

"I've got to give him credit," Lemaire said. "He's been shooting pucks with Mario (Tremblay) at least for a half hour if not 45 minutes before every practice. He worked so hard to get where he is right now and he deserved those two goals."

Clutterbuck got Minnesota on the board at 13:54 of the first period when he snapped a shot past Theodore stick-side from the crease in front of a screen from defenseman Milan Jurcina. Marc-Andre Burgeron picked up his first of two assists on the play.

"It's a great feeling and just motivates you to work hard to keep getting them," Clutterbuck said. "I saw (the first goal) go in and I just started skating, just got a burst of energy. Just like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders."

Clutterbuck's second tally came at 5:09 of the second period on the power play. He was in front of the crease when defenseman Brent Burns' shot bounced off the goaltender's blocker. Clutterbuck stretched for it and tucked it past Theodore.

Zidlicky made it 3-0 at 3:07 of the third period and Sheppard provided the game-winner 4:10 later with a goal on assists from Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Burns.

The Capitals lost their third consecutive contest and fell to 1-3-1 on their five-game road trip. Washington is 0-5-0 all-time against the Wild in Minnesota.

"It was a very positive the last six minutes, what you can do when you put your mind to it," Boudreau said. "It's a lesson for (the Wild) too, that once you turn it off its tough to turn it back on. They will be the first ones to tell you that they were lucky they escaped with the win today."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 3 3
    MINNESOTA 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 1 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 13:54
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) CAL CLUTTERBUCK 2 (BRENT BURNS, ERIC BELANGER)
    5:09
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MAREK ZIDLICKY 3 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, MIKKO
    KOIVU) 3:07
    MIN - JAMES SH

    Nov 24 10:31 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 5 (BROOKS LAICH, ERIC FEHR) 18:16

    Capitals 3, Wild 4  3rd - 1:44Nov 24 10:28 PM
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    Capitals 3, Wild 4  3rd - 1:44Nov 24 10:28 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 9 (TOMAS FLEISCHMANN, MILAN JURCINA)
    16:07

    Capitals 2, Wild 4  3rd - 3:53Nov 24 10:23 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 3 (ERIC FEHR) 14:43

    Capitals 1, Wild 4  3rd - 5:17Nov 24 10:21 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: MIN - JAMES SHEPPARD 1 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, BRENT BURNS)
    7:17

    Capitals 0, Wild 4  3rd - 12:43Nov 24 10:10 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MAREK ZIDLICKY 3 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, MIKKO
    KOIVU) 3:07

    Capitals 0, Wild 3  3rd - 16:53Nov 24 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 1 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 13:54
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) CAL CLUTTERBUCK 2 (BRENT BURNS, ERIC BELANGER)
    5:09
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 6

    Nov 24 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MINNESOTA 2
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) CAL CLUTTERBUCK 2 (BRENT BURNS, ERIC BELANGER)
    5:09

    Capitals 0, Wild 2  2nd - 14:51Nov 24 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 1 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 13:54
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 11
    MIN 9 9
    GOALIES: WAS - JOSE THEODORE
    MIN - N

    Nov 24 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 1 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 13:54

    Capitals 0, Wild 1  1st - 6:06Nov 24 8:36 PM
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    Capitals vs. WildNov 24 12:23 PM
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    xxpatriotsfan Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. WildNov 18 4:40 PM