Capitals: Top 3 keys to victory against Wild

Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Three Keys to Victory.

After the addition of defensemen Brenden Dillon and winger IIya Kovalchuk, the Capitals feel as though they’ve done enough for a long playoff run this spring. However, there are still some major concerns.

1. Defensive breakdowns

After facing the Winnipeg Jets and getting shut out 3-0 with no offense to show for, the Capitals continue to have bad giveaways leading to either scoring chances or the first goal of the game.

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The Minnesota Wild, 32-25-7 and 71-points, are fighting for a playoff with being only point from the last and final wild card spot. The Wild have also outscored their last two opponents 12-1.

With the Capitals coming of a stinker, you would expect them to come out firing on all cylinders, trying to get the first goal of the game. However, that just hasn’t happened much this year because of their defensive play. That needs to change tonight with a win and two major points.

2. IIya Kovalchuk Scores His First Goal as a Washington Capital

Even though IIya Kovalchuk had a defensive breakdown where he simply lose the puck and lead to a breakaway score, he’s been a offensive presence in front of the net.

He’s had the highest scoring chances, finding rebound and making goalies play him high and tight. At some point, one of those wicked shots will make it past a goalie, giving him some confidence.

It’s never easy for a new addition to be a scoring machine as defensemen, Michal Kempny, wasn’t when he joined the Capitals two seasons ago.

3. Braden Holtby in Net

After IIya Samsonov got his shot and played pretty well, although his defense didn’t give him much of a chance, he stopped some breakaways, giving the Capitals chances on going the other way.

However, Braden Holtby’s numbers aren’t so great but has been playing pretty well himself down the stretch. He too hasn’t had such a supportive defensive unit in front of him.

More. Capitals at Wild: Caps conclude cold road trip. light

If the Capitals are simply going to win against the Wild, they need Holtby to be at his best and his defense to be stifling. If that happens, the Capitals leave the cold state with a 4-2 win as Kovalchuk and Ovechkin get 1-goal apiece. Yep, that’s my prediction. Capitals win 4-2, get two major points and Kovalchuk finally gets on the board as a Capital.