6 p.m. at Washington • Verizon Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The top teams in the East and West meet for the first time this season. Both are slumping. The Capitals have lost four consecutive games in regulation for the first time since 2014 and are 5-6-1 since their bye; the Wild has lost four of six and is 4-4 since its bye. The Wild is tied for second in the NHL with 220 goals; the Capitals are fourth with 217, but they have 26 in the past 12 games.
Players to watch: Goalie Devan Dubnyk is coming off his shortest start with the Wild. He was yanked 4:38 into the Chicago game after allowing two goals on two shots. C Eric Staal has three goals in the past two games; the Wild is 16-1 when he scores. Staal leads Minnesota with 71 points (27 goals) in 72 contests against Washington— his most points vs. any NHL team. RW Mikael Granlund leads with 23 goals and ranks 12th in the NHL with 63 points. LW Alex Ovechkin has no goals in a career-long 10 straight games and no even-strength goals in 18. He has 10 goals and four assists in 10 meetings all-time against the Wild. C Nicklas Backstrom ranks third with 47 assists and is tied for seven with 68 points. RW T.J. Oshie is second on the Capitals with 26 goals.
Numbers: The Wild is 17-4-2 following a loss of any kind. … The Wild is 2-6-1 all-time in Washington. … The Capitals have scored more than two goals in only two of their past 12 games and two or fewer in six straight.
Injuries: Wild C Martin Hanzal (sick). D Christian Folin (upper body) and D Gustav Olofsson (upper body) are out. Capitals D Kevin Shattenkirk (suspended) and D Andre Burakovsky (hand) are out.