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Wild hope to end skid at home against Capitals

Washington (11-6-3) at Minnesota (11-6-1), 8:00 pm EST

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Wild look to avoid

a third straight home loss Monday when they face the Washington

Capitals.

Stephane Veilleux scored his second goal of the season and

Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves, but the Wild fizzled in a 2-1

loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, falling to 0-2-0 on

their five-game homestand. Minnesota has endured back-to-back

losses at home in regulation for the first time since November

21-23, 2007.

The Wild also have played in four straight one-goal games and

are 2-2-0 in those contests, with both victories coming via

shootout.

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom has started nine straight games and

has yielded two goals or fewer in seven of those contests

Meanwhile, Washington was victimized in a 7-2 loss to the San

Jose Sharks on Saturday. Defenseman Tom Poti and Tomas

Fleischmann scored for the Capitals, who matched the second-best

record through 20 games in franchise history despite having lost

two in a row.

Alex Ovechkin extended his points streak to seven games with an

assist but was not able to lift Washington's offensive unit,

which is hampered by the injuries of Alexander Semin and

blue-liner Mike Green but got back Sergei Fedorov from an ankle

ailment.

Goaltender Brent Johnson surrendered three goals on five shots

in the first period and was tagged four more times despite

making 21 saves.

The Capitals are 7-1-1 when leading after the first period this

year and have scored 14 first-period goals in their last eight

games. They are 7-0-1 when scoring more than one goal in the

first period and 2-3-1 when being held scoreless in the session.

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