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Suter records hat trick in Wild win over the Capitals

The Minnesota Wild defeated the Washington Capitals 5-3 Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Minnesota Wild defeated the Washington Capitals 5-3 Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Joseph Gunther/Minnesota Wild Examiner

The Minnesota Wild did not have a player record a hat trick in nearly four years until Ryan Suter recorded the feat Saturday against the Washington Capitals at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild needed all three in their 5-3 win.

Suter capped the hat trick after stepping out of the penalty box to create a 2-on-1 rush with Clayton Stoner. Stoner faked a shot a pass across to Suter.

“I came out of the box and saw some of the guys were changing there,” Suter said. “Stoney made a great play.

“I was hoping he was going to pass. I was just hoping I didn’t miss the net.”

Suter scored his first two goals on shots from the point on the power play. Both came through traffic with Dany Heatley right in front of Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby.

“(Heatley) did a great job on those two power play goals,” Suter said. “He was in front and the goalie couldn’t see the puck.”

For Suter, it was his first career hat trick. He became the first Wild player to score three goals in a game since Guillaume Latendresse did so in Phoenix on Jan. 16, 2010 and the first Wild player to do it at the Xcel Energy Center since Chuck Kobasew on Nov. 27, 2009.

The Wild (22-17-5) were beneficiaries of three unforced man advantage opportunities. Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy roughed Kyle Brodziak behind the play and then teammate Karl Alzner fired the puck over the glass and into the crowd five seconds apart.

“They had nothing and then we made mistakes on the first goal,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “That gave them a little life. Then the penalties. We put (the puck) in the stands. We talk about details all the time.”

The Wild capitalized on both 68 seconds after the first penalty was called.

The Capitals (20-16-6) dominated the stat sheet in the first period with goals by Marcus Johansson and Mike Green while holding an 11-1 edge in shots on goal.

“The first period was terrible,” Suter said. “We didn’t have a lot of energy. We came in (to the locker room between periods) and got yelled at and went out and played the way we needed to play.”

Nino Niederreiter started the rally with a wrist shot from the slot off a pass from Charlie Coyle at the 2:16 mark of the second period.

Jason Zucker scored the eventual game-winner on the power play after the Capitals committed their second delay of game for the shooting the puck into the crowd penalty. He now has two goals in as many games since being recalled from Iowa on Wednesday.

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Wild are the first NHL team to score five goals on 11 shots since shots were first recorded in the 1973-74 season.

The Wild return to action Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Jason Zucker. The Wild forward scored the game-winning goal.

No. 2 - Mikko Koivu. The Wild forward recorded two assists.

No. 1 - Ryan Suter. The Wild defenseman scored three goals.


Washington…..2 1 0 - 3

Minnesota…….0 4 1 - 5

First Period - 1, Washington, Johansson 6 (Ovechkin, Backstrom), 12:02 (pp). 2, Washington, Green 4 (Chimera, Ward), 12:15. Penalties - Heatley, MIN (slashing), 10:37; Brouwer, WASH (hooking), 14:17; Brouwer, WASH, major (fighting), 17:15; Prosser, MIN, major (fighting), 17:15; Ovechkin, WASH (roughing), 19:29; Cooke, MIN (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:29.

Second Period - 3, Minnesota, Niederreiter 8 (Coyle, Cooke), 2:16. 4, Minnesota, Suter 3 (Koivu, Granlund), 6:56 (pp). 5, Minnesota, Suter 4 (Koivu, Heatley), 7:38 (pp). 6, Washington, Green 5 (Laich), 15:50. 7, Minnesota, Zucker 2 (Ballard, Brodin), 17:04 (pp). Penalties - Oleksy, WASH (roughing), 6:30; Alzner, WASH (delay of game-puck over glass), 6:35; Grabovski, WASH (delay of game-puck over glass), 15:32.

Third Period - 8, Minnesota, Suter 5 (Stoner), 7:37. Penalties - Suter, MIN (tripping), 5:30; Beagle, WASH (tripping), 10:42.

Shots on goal - Washington 11-10-9 30. Minnesota 1-8-2 11.

Goalies - Washington, Holtby (6-11). Minnesota, Backstrom (27-30). Referees - Tom Kowal, Wes McCauley. Linesmen - Don Henderson, Andy McElman.

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