Eriksson Ek sets career high in goals, Wild tops Capitals 5-1

“Smart puck management, a lot of good decisions have been made in these wins,” said Foligno. “And every line has contributed, which is good.”

Tyson Jost and Nicolas Deslauriers also scored as second-place Minnesota extended its lead to five points over third-place St. Louis in the Central Division. Jordan Greenway had three assists and Cam Talbot made 25 saves to extend his scoring streak to nine games.

Garnet Hathaway scored midway through the third period as Washington snapped a streak of eight goals allowed unanswered, dating back to Monday’s 6-1 loss to Carolina.

“It’s hard to paint it with a brush,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “It wasn’t good enough again. Obviously the beginning. They may have been the only two chances we missed, but they were mistakes, they happened early on and it’s not the way you want to start the game.”

Vitek Vanecek stopped 14 shots for the Capitals, who are 11 points ahead of the New York Islanders for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Eriksson Ek now has 12 points from his last 14 games to surpass his previous career high of 19 goals set a season ago. He recorded his first of the night 36 seconds into the game when he ran into Greenway’s break to create a break, then scored through Vanecek’s bag.

Jost doubled the lead a minute later with another goal in transition.

“This was a team that hadn’t played in a long time, and we knew we were going to have to go out and not let them in, I guess,” Greenway said of the Capitals, whose previous game was March 28. “Go straight to them.”

Eriksson Ek made it 3-0 with just under seven minutes remaining in the second when he used his skate to check a stray puck, then hit a shot close to Vanecek. He assisted on Foligno’s goal 30 seconds into the third to put the game out of reach at 4-0.

Wild: Improved to 14-0-1 against the Metropolitan division this season. … LW Kirill Kaprizov’s scoring streak came to a halt after six games.

Capitals: LW Johan Larsson made his team debut. He was acquired at the March 21 trade deadline, but he missed his first four games for Washington recovering from sports hernia surgery. … C Nic Dowd and D Trevor van Riemsdyk returned from upper body injuries.

With their respective goals, Eriksson Ek and Foligno became the fifth and sixth Wild players to reach the 20-goal plateau this season, joining Kaprizov (39), Ryan Hartman (27), Kevin Fiala (23) and Mats Zuccarello (20). ).

“It’s nice to be rewarded like this this season and it’s something that I think has contributed to our success as a team,” Foligno said. “You’ve got a lot of guys that are above that 20-goal mark, you usually have a great regular season as a team.”

Capitals: Host Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

Wild: Visit Nashville Tuesday night.

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