WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Capitals are setting small goals for the second half of the season.
Ulf Dahlen had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals snapped a four-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
"We won the game, and that's all we set out to do, and now we've got something to build on," Washington coach Ron Wilson said.
The Capitals struggled heading into the All-Star break, losing four straight with some flat performances. Washington has fared played well in the second half of the last two seasons en route to consecutive Southeast Division championships.
The Capitals hope for the same this season -- one reason the team pointed toward a win in this game.
"We'll take it," Dahlen said. "I'd rather sit here and talk about a win that wasn't pretty than play a good game and lose it because we've got to get points."
Even though Minnesota has struggled lately, going 1-7-3-2 and losing four in a row, the Wild gave Washington trouble. They play the trap that usually disrupts teams in the neutral zone, but the Capitals stayed patient and found enough scoring chances despite being outshot 30-19.
Getting a victory was important because the Capitals would love a quick run before the Olympic break.
"It's tough to play against them," Jaromir Jagr said. "Before the Olympics, we have four games against teams that have very similar records to us. We should be able to win those games, then it would be a good start to try and make the playoffs."
Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig made 29 saves, including a diving stop of Lubomir Sekeras with 2:07 left to help preserve the victory.
Minnesota 0 0 1 -- 1
Washington 1 1 0 -- 2
First Period--1, Washington, Dahlen 17 (Jagr, Kolzig), 16:51. Penalties--Sacco, Was (hooking), 1:47; Kuba, Min (interference), 9:40.
Second Period--2, Washington, Bondra 27 (Oates, Dahlen), 13:32 (pp). Penalties--Washington bench, served by Ciernik (too many men on ice), 1:49; Kuba, Min (high-sticking), 2:52; Dowd, Min (high-sticking), 12:15; Ciernik, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:31.
Third Period--3, Minnesota, Park 4 (Walz, Sekeras), 3:07 (sh). Penalties--Mitchell, Min (roughing), :23; Hendrickson, Min (rough), :23; Bondra, Was (roughing), :23; Nikolishin, Was (roughing), :23; Dowd, Min (slashing), 1:30; Fortin, Was (holding), 7:39; Khristich, Was (interference), 18:34.
Shots on goal--Minnesota 14-8-8--30. Washington 6-8-5--19.
Power-play Opportunities--Minnesota 0 of 5; Washington 1 of 4. Goalies--Minnesota, Roloson 8-15-6 (19 shots-17 saves). Washington, Kolzig 19-23-6 (30-29).
Referees--Harry Dumas, Kerry Fraser. Linesmen--Tim Nowak, Pat Dapuzzo.
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