This afternoon, the Capitals are looking to get their first win in their last six games against Western Conference opponents. They are winless in their last five matchups (0-4-1) against the Western Conference, with their most recent attempt resulting in a 2-0 loss against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
The Capitals also need to regain home-ice advantage in order to help their cause heading into the postseason. After starting the season 12-1-1 at Verizon Center, the Caps have posted a disappointing 5-6-6 record since.
Mike Green also makes his return after taking a speeding puck to the head against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. He was held out of the Sharks game because of post-concussion symptoms. His defensive presence would have been a luxury at the end of the Sharks loss as the only goals scored game came in the final minutes of the third period.
1st Period Overview:
Alex Ovechkin started the period off right for the Caps, firing his 21st goal of the season just over a minute into the game.
D.J. King tried to make an impact in a rare appearance by getting into a shoving match with some Kings after a Semyon Varlomov save midway through the period. Towards the end of the period, he fired up the crowd with a fight between him and Kings center Kevin Westgarth. King took the early advantage in the fight but Westgarth got a couple of nice blows in there to make it pretty even in the end.
The crowd got a scare when Mike Green was legally checked into the boards face-first, prompting a loud “Ooooooooo” from those in attendance.
The Caps offense was aggressive for most of the first period and the defense held the Kings to no score. That’s the criteria that wins games and could help turn a season around.
Faceoffs Won: LAK – 7 WAS – 5
Hits: LAK – 16 WAS – 11
Shots on Goal: LAK – 4 WAS – 8
Goals: LAK – 0 WAS – 1
2nd Period Overview:
The Caps took their first power play of the game following the 14 minute mark. The highlight of the power play was a slapshot by Mike Green from far out, which failed to go in.
The Kings were able to get their first score at the 9:19 mark after Anze Kopitar knocked in a rebound after a Wayne Simmonds miss in front of the net.
Alexander Semin missed a great opportunity on a wide open breakway after receiving a pass from Ovechkin and shot wide past Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier.
The Caps took their second power play with 5:32 remaining in the period but the Kings were able to clear the puck into the Caps zone on multiple occassions, taking time away from their one-man advantage. That’s the second power play the Caps failed to score on.
The Caps took a roughing penalty called on Mike Green with less than 33 seconds remaining.
Faceoffs Won: LAK – 10 WAS – 8
Hits: LAK – 6 WAS – 11
Shots on Goal: LAK – 15 WAS – 7
Goals: LAK – 1 WAS – 0
3rd Period Overview:
The Kings struck first in the final period with another rebound goal. Kyle Clifford fired the puck from Semyon Varlamov’s left side while Andrei Loktionov handled the deflection directly in front Varly for his third goal of the season.
The Caps took their third power play in the middle of the period but were subject to multiple clears by the Kings into the Caps zone. This time the lack of power play execution prompted loud boos from the frustrated home crowd.
Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll put the game away for the Kings with two goals in less than 90 seconds late in the period, putting the Kings up 4-1.
Hits: LAK – 8 WAS – 9
Shots on Goal: LAK – 9 WAS – 8
Goals: LAK – 3 WAS -0
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Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Anze Kopitar, D.J. King, Jarrett Stoll, Jonathan Bernier, Kevin Westgarth, Kyle Clifford, Los Angeles Kings, Michael Handzus, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Senyon Varlmov, Verizon Center, Washington Capitals, Wayne Simmonds