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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, March 22, 2019
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 18,506

Caps, Wild both hungry for win with DC battle on tap

Minnesota Wild at Washington Capitals

  1. The Capitals have won eight straight over the Wild. This is the Capitals' longest active winning streak against any opponent and the Wild's longest active losing streak against any opponent.
  2. The Capitals lost to the Lightning in overtime, 5-4, on Wednesday, allowing the Lightning to go 3-for-3 on the power-play. This is the first time the Caps have failed to kill a single penalty in a game with at least three chances since November 29, 2002 (Senators went 3-for-3).
  3. Minnesota lost to Colorado on Tuesday, 3-1, its fifth loss over its last six games. The team scored five goals in the one win over this span, and six goals combined in the four losses.
  4. Evgeny Kuznetsov netted a goal in a second consecutive game and has three in his last four games. He registered nine shots on goal last time out, his second career time doing so (other was in April 2016).
  5. Zach Parise netted his 10th power-play goal of the season in his last game. This is his fifth season with double-digit power-play goals. He's done so twice for the Devils (2007-08, 2008-09) and twice for the Wild (2013-14, 2014-15) prior to this season.
  6. T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist on Wednesday -- his 47 points this season are now tied with his point total last season, and his 22 goals are his third-highest total ever in a season. Oshie has four goals in his last four games against the Wild.

The Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild both need a victory in Friday's battle in D.C. -- but they're needed for different reasons.

Washington picked up a point in a 5-4 overtime loss at home to Tampa Bay on Wednesday. That gave Washington, the leader in the Metropolitan Division, 94 points. But the Capitals can ill afford to ease up, with the New York Islanders only three points back and the Pittsburgh Penguins five points back.

Minnesota fell 3-1 at home to Colorado on Tuesday, leaving the Wild one point out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference entering Thursday.

The Capitals lost twice to the Lightning in the past week but gave the best team in the league a battle both times. However, Washington also lost defenseman Michal Kempny with what the team described as a lower-body injury in Wednesday's game. He appeared to hurt his leg when going down awkwardly, and Washington coach Todd Reirden told reporters the team would know more about the situation in the next day or two.

"I think, at this point, it's safe to say he's going to miss some time," Reirden said.

Still, there were plenty of positives for Washington to take away from the game Wednesday. The Caps set a team record for shots in a game (58) and held a 30-shot edge over the Lightning.

Despite the loss, Reirden loved his team's effort.

"We came out exactly how we wanted to start the game," he said. "We had lots of chances, lots of good things. The effort was outstanding. It said a lot about our character, if you ask me."

The Wild are looking for some good things down the stretch while trying to work their way into the Western Conference playoffs under former Washington coach Bruce Boudreau.

Minnesota is stuck in a late-season slump, dropping five of its last six games while scoring no more than two goals in any of the losses. Zach Parise scored the only Minnesota goal against the Avalanche, a power-play score that tied the game at 1-1 two minutes into the second period.

Parise also said that his teammates have to keep battling since they're still so close to a postseason bid.

"We can't (get frustrated)," he told the team's website. "If we do that, we might as well throw the season away. We don't have a lot of time to do that and feel bad. Hopefully, we can scoreboard watch and get some help maybe. Let's see if we can correct things offensively before the games on the weekend."

Boudreau said after the loss that he also was concerned with the offensive problems the team has battled this season. The Wild enter Thursday ranked 24th in the NHL in goals scored (199), something not typical of a Boudreau-coached team. More offense down the stretch could be a big lift as Minnesota fights for that playoff spot.

"This year we haven't been able to score when we needed to score," Boudreau said. "We've had great looks and great opportunities to score, but (haven't done it)."

--Field Level Media

Updated March 21, 2019

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