WASHINGTON — He scored against his former team in the area where he played his college hockey. But Erik Haula was in no mood to celebrate.
Haula, the former University of Minnesota forward, scored Friday in a 5-2 loss at the Minnesota Wild, his 20th goal this season and the fifth straight game in which he has scored. But he was more angry about losing to his former team a second time this season.
“It’s all about winning,” Haula said. “I’m not happy with scoring a goal and losing the game. That’s not satisfying at all.
“I get one more shot at them this year and hopefully we get them then.”
The Wild and Knights meet March 16 at T-Mobile Arena.
Haula shrugged off the high hit he took from Minnesota’s Matt Dumba in the second period that ultimately led to teammate Ryan Carpenter dropping the gloves and duking it out with Dumba with 33 seconds left in the period.
“It’s hockey,” Haula said. “He tried to hit me. People can read into it. But it’s all good.”
The return of Brayden McNabb to the Golden Knights’ lineup Friday didn’t produce the desired results.
McNabb was in the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury. He played about 19 minutes and had two hits and a blocked shot. He was also on the ice for three of Minnesota’s goals, two with the Wild on the power play.
“He was OK. He’s been out for about a week, so he was fine,” coach Gerard Gallant said of McNabb, who was paired with his regular defensive partner, Nate Schmidt.
The Capitals lead the Metropolitan Division with 65 points. But Washington has dropped four of its past six games, the latest a 7-4 loss Friday at Pittsburgh.
Alex Ovechkin leads Washington in goals (32) and points (56).
Forward T.J. Oshie was fined $5,000 by the NHL on Saturday after high-sticking Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang in the neck in Friday’s game. He’s expected to play in Sunday’s game against the Knights at Capital One Arena.
Super Bowl party
It’s a business trip. But that doesn’t mean the Golden Knights can’t sprinkle in a little fun.
The Knights normally would leave immediately for their next stop after a game. But they will stay in Washington, D.C., after Sunday’s game and have a Super Bowl party before flying out Monday to Pittsburgh for Tuesday’s game.