ST. PAUL (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild's defense made it easy on their goaltender Saturday night.
Dwayne Roloson needed only 17 saves to record his first shutout of the season as the Wild blanked the Washington Capitals, 1-0. Pascal Dupuis scored the only goal of the game as the Wild snapped a three-game winless streak, its longest of the season.
"The last couple of games the guys have been keeping everything to the outside, so we can see the first shot," Roloson said. "It's been great."
The victory was significant for the Wild, which had gone 0-2-1 after starting the season 10-3-2. Minnesota continues to lead the Northwest Division with 25 points, but more importantly, the victory prevented the winless streak from destroying the early momentum.
"Anytime you lose a game or two you want to nip it in the bud," Roloson said. "That's what good teams do."
Roloson got his eighth career shutout, including five for the Wild last season. His best saves were made on a point-blank deflection by Kip Miller and the rebound of that shot midway through the second period.
The puck got past Roloson once, but only after the whistle had blown. With 6:50 left in the first period, Roloson gloved Peter Bondra's wrist shot from the left circle. Just after the whistle, the puck dropped out of Roloson's glove and trickled into the net.
Washington, 0-2-1 in its last three games, is suffering from a lack of effort, coach Bruce Cassidy said.
"I don't know if we're not good enough or not willing to do what it takes," he said. "We don't have guys right now who want to pay the price and create turnovers and get those shots and offensive chances."
Minnesota controlled play, outshooting Washington 31-17, including 13-6 in the second period. Capitals goaltender Olie Kolzig turned away a number of scoring chances, but gave up a goal on what should have been a routine save.
Sergei Zholtok set up the chance by winning a battle for the puck along the right boards. Zholtok centered the puck to Dupuis, who skated across the blue line and fired a wrist shot that beat Kolzig to the glove side.
"The puck kind of fluttered or knuckled on me, and it just eluded me," Kolzig said. "Shots like those, you just want to get your body or piece of equipment in front of it."
Notes: Minnesota's Cliff Ronning needs 12 points to move into the top 100 on the NHL's career list. If he manages 20 more points, he'll move past his own coach, Jacques Lemaire, who ranks 98th with 835 points. ... Capitals defenseman Brendan Witt sat out his fourth consecutive game with a sprained shoulder. ... Eleven of the Capitals' first 18 games have been decided by one goal, and Washington is 7-4 in those. ... Saturday's victory over Washington gave Minnesota a 4-0 record against the Eastern Conference this season.
Washington 0 0 0 -- 0
Minnesota 0 1 0 -- 1
Second Period--1, Minnesota, Dupuis 6 (Zholtok), 6:37.
Shots on goal--Washington 6-6-5--17. Minnesota 9-13-9--31.
Power-play opportunities--Washington 0 of 2; Minnesota 0 of 4.
Goalies--Washington, Kolzig 6-4-1 (31 shots-30 saves). Minnesota, Roloson 5-2-2 (17-17).
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