Suter scores 3 in Wild's 5-3 win over Capitals

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm •  Published: January 4, 2014
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Ryan Suter had a career-best performance, and the Minnesota Wild made NHL history — all part of one impressive comeback Saturday night.

Suter had Minnesota's first three-goal game by a defenseman, helping the Wild rally for a 5-3 win over Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

Minnesota earned its second straight win despite being outshot 30-11, becoming the first team since the NHL officially began tracking shots on goal in 1973-74 to score five goals on fewer than 12 shots, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Suter completed his first career hat trick with the biggest goal of the game, putting the Wild ahead 5-3 seconds after Minnesota had killed off an opportunity for Washington's power-play unit, which ranks No. 2 in the NHL.

Suter jumped into the play straight out of the penalty box to create a 2-on-1 with Clayton Stoner, and then beat Braden Holtby from the left faceoff circle with 12:23 to play in the third.

"I came out of the box and saw some of their guys were changing there and Stony made a great play getting the puck over," Suter said. "I was hoping he was going to pass. I was just hoping I didn't miss the net."

Minnesota shut out Ovechkin, the NHL's leading goal scorer with 31. Ovechkin hit the post in the final minute as the Capitals tried to rally from a two-goal deficit.

Mike Green had two goals and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Capitals, who are 1-3-3 in their last seven games.

"We're going through a lousy stretch right now where we're playing some good hockey and getting some lousy results," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "Eleven shots (allowed) on the road should be good enough. But it's not, so we need to find a way to play just a little bit better."

Washington controlled the action early on, outshooting Minnesota 11-1 in the first and taking a 2-0 lead with two goals in a 13-second span midway through the period.

Johansson pushed a rebound past Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom for a power-play goal. Then off the ensuing faceoff, Jason Chimera picked up a loose puck at the Minnesota blue line and passed to Green, who made a move around Minnesota's Matt Cooke and beat Backstrom with a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle.

"The first period, I really don't think we could've scripted that any better," Capitals center Brooks Laich said. "Two-nothing lead, they have one shot, they're not in our zone, they're getting booed off the ice after 20 minutes by their own fans on a Saturday night. We're in total control of that game."

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