Andre Burakovsky added a goal and an assist, while Lars Eller had two assists. Rookie goalie Pheonix Copley finished with 26 saves and earned his third career victory.
Minnesota had scored points in its first seven home games (5-0-2) before Tuesday, but the return of right wing Tom Wilson sparked the Capitals as they snapped a two-game losing streak.
Wilson had missed the first 16 games due to a 20-game suspension the league imposed after an illegal check to the head of Oskar Sundqvist from St. Louis in a preseason game.
The NHL announced Tuesday an arbitrator reduced that to 14 games, meaning Wilson was eligible to play in this contest, and he rejoined Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on the first line.
Wilson helped right away, scoring a goal in the first period as Washington took a 2-0 lead after one. He then got into a fight with Marcus Foligno during the second period and finished the game with one goal and seven penalty minutes.
Orlov scored the game’s first goal at the 6:33 mark, taking an Eller pass and beating goalie Devan Dubnyk (28 savees) from the left circle. It was Orlov’s first goal of the season.
Wilson then got his first goal with 28 seconds left in the period. Orlov assisted on that one, and Wilson even got a penalty for goaltender interference on the play as he crashed into Dubnyk after tipping the pass into the net.
The Wild appeared to score on the power play from Wilson’s penalty in the first minute of the second period, but the officials waved it off, saying Eric Staal kicked it in.
But Washington made it 3-0 a little later when Burakovsky put in the rebound of an Eller shot at 3:13.
Minnesota answered when Mikko Koivu got ahold of a Capitals turnover deep in their end and scored with 8:03 left.
Orlov made it 4-1 by blasting in a cross-ice pass from Ovechkin in from the right circle in the third period. T.J. Oshie added another goal for Washington before Minnesota’s Matt Dumba posted a power-play goal.