WASHINGTON (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek scored his career-best 20th and 21st goals of the season and added an assist, and the Minnesota Wild cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.
Marcus Foligno built on one career-high with his 20th goal and set another with his 16th assist for the Wild, who have won nine of their last 10 games while earning a point in the other.
“Smart puck management, a lot of good decision-making has been put into these wins,” Foligno said. “And each line has contributed, which is nice.”
Tyson Jost and Nicolas Deslauriers also scored as second-place Minnesota extended its lead to five points over third-place St. Louis in the Central Division. Jordan Greenway had three assists and Cam Talbot made 25 saves to extend his point streak to nine games.
Garnet Hathaway scored midway through the third period for Washington to end a stretch of eight unanswered goals allowed, dating back to Monday’s 6-1 loss to Carolina.
“It’s hard to paint it with one brush,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “It wasn’t good enough again. Obviously the start. It might’ve been the only two chances we gave up, but they were mistakes, they were early on, and it’s not the way you want to start the game.”
Vitek Vanecek stopped 14 shots for the Capitals, who are 11 points ahead of the New York Islanders for the second Eastern Conference wild-card playoff spot.
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