The Washington Capitals play the first game of a season-long five-game homestand against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night to end the month of November. The Capitals have won the past three home games against the Kings and have earned at least a point in the last four contests against L.A. The Kings make their lone visit to Capital One Arena this season.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings got off to a blazing start, going 11-2-2 in their first 15 games of the season are just 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. Los Angeles will be playing the second game of a four-game road trip. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 at Little Caesars’ Arena last night. After visiting the nation’s capital on Thursday, the Kings go to St. Louis and Chicago.
After a down year where he had 52 points in 76 games, Kings’ captain Anze Kopitar has bounced back in a big way this season. He has averaged over a point per game, leading the Kings with 12 goals and 28 points through 25 games.
Another player who has bounced back is Dustin Brown, who has 10 goals and 21 points through 25 games. That’s over half of the points he scored in 80 games with Los Angeles last season. Brown got stripped of the Kings’ captaincy a year ago and it got handed to Kopitar.
The Kings put center Andy Andreoff on injured reserve yesterday. He has a goal and an assist in 22 games played for the Kings this season.
Jonathan Quick, who missed 65 games last season, will likely get the start. Lifetime against Washington, he is 7-2-0 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.39 goals against average.
The Capitals will start a season-long five-game homestand on Thursday night and will look to push their winning streak to a season-high four.
The Capitals will play for the first time since Saturday when they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 thanks to an Alex Ovechkin hat trick. Ovechkin is red hot, riding a 3-game goal streak. He has five goals in that span and has six points in his past five games. Ovechkin is one game-winning goal away from passing Mats Sundin (96) for 9th place on the NHL’s all-time game-winning goals list and one power play goal away from passing Jaromir Jagr and Mike Gartner (217) for 10th place on the all-time power-play goals list.
Jakub Vrana also scored in Saturday’s win against Toronto. He has three goals in his past three games.
The Capitals have won their past three games and have points in four straight home games against the Kings, outscoring Los Angeles 16-5 in that span.
Braden Holtby will likely get the net for Washington. He is 13-5-0 with a 2.59 goals against average and a .921 save percentage this season. In three career outings against L.A., he is 1-1-1 with a 2.33 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. His lone win was a shutout three seasons ago.
-Alex Ovechkin has 5 goals and 13 points in 15 career games against Los Angeles
-Devante Smith-Pelly and Lars Eller returned to practice today after being out with illness and passport issues, respectively
-Nicklas Backstrom has four assists in three games he has played since being reunited with Ovechkin
A Look Back in Time
The last time the Kings came to town was in early February for Washington’s annual Super Bowl Sunday matinee. The Capitals got goals from five different scorers – Lars Eller, Marcus Johansson, Brett Connolly, T.J. Oshie, and former-King Justin Williams – en route to a 5-0 victory over Los Angeles. Philipp Grubauer made 38 saves for his third shutout of the season to lead the Capitals to victory. The win was Washington’s ninth straight home victory.
By Harrison Brown