7 p.m. vs. Washington • Xcel Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Wild greets the NHL-leading Capitals, who have 82 points and are seeking 40th victory. The Capitals lead the NHL with a plus-56 goal differential and 3.29 goals per game, rank second with 2.25 goals-allowed per game, have the NHL’s best power play at 24.4 percent and fourth-best penalty kill at 84 percent. The Wild? It has lost 14 of 17 games in 2016 (3-10-4), 11 of the past 12 games (1-9-2), six in a row overall since Jan. 21 (0-4-2) and six straight at home since Dec. 28 (0-3-3).
Players to watch: Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin is second in the NHL with 31 goals, second with 12 power-play goals and tied for fifth with a plus-22. C Evgeny Kuznetsov is fifth with 54 points, third with 39 assists and third with a plus-24. C Nicklas Backstrom is tied for fifth with 20 power-play points. Former Gophers D Nate Schmidt has 12 points in 47 games and will play his third career game — second in Minnesota — against the Wild. G Braden Holtby is 34-5-3 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. Wild LW Zach Parise has one goal in the past 11 games but assists in the past two. D Matt Dumba has two goals and three assists in the past four games.
Numbers: The Wild is 7-1 all-time vs. the Capitals at home, outscoring them 21-13. … The Wild has allowed 17 goals in the past four games. In five of the past six games, the Wild has allowed at least four goals. … The Wild has been outscored 10-2 in the past four second periods.
Injuries: Wild D Jonas Brodin (broken foot) is out and D Jared Spurgeon (deep bruise) is probable. Capitals D Brooks Orpik (knee) and C Mike Richards (maintenance) are questionable and C Jay Beagle (hand) is out.