Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals clash with the Los Angeles Kings for the second and final time this season and in a week’s span. Just one week ago, the Capitals downed the Kings by a score of 6-4 at Capital One Arena. Action from Staples Center in Downtown L.A. can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 10:30 PM ET.
- third game of a season-long six-game road trip (1-2-0 so far)
- second game of a back-to-back after falling 5-2 to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night
- Captain Alex Ovechkin leads NHL with 40 goals and Capitals with 67 points in 58 games this season; has seven goals, 15 points, and a -1 rating in his past 11 games
- Defenseman John Carlson leads the Capitals with 43 assists this season
- Have scored 38 goals in their last 11 games (an average of 3.45 goals-per-game)
- seventh in NHL with an average of 3.32 goals-per-game
- have dropped five of last six road games and are 15-11-2 on the road overall this season; have been outscored 30-17 in that six-game span
- 15th in NHL with 20.7 power-play efficiency
- 22nd in NHL with 78.1 penalty-killing rate
- Center Evgeny Kuznetsov has seven goals, 16 points, and a +6 rating in his past 11 games, including a two-goal, four-point performance against the Kings last week, and has 15 goals and 54 points in 53 games this season
- five points behind New York Islanders for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, two points up on the Columbus Blue Jackets for second
- Forward T.J. Oshie left Sunday’s game with an upper-body injury and did not return; head coach Todd Reirden said after the game that he will be re-evaluated on Monday
- Starting goaltender: Pheonix Copley (12-5-3 with a save percentage of .903, a goals-against average of 3.02, and one shutout this season); made 29 saves against the Kings last week, his only start in his career vs. LA
- have not won a game at Staples Center since December 14, 2005 (0-6-2 since); have scored more than two goals only twice in that span
- last in Western Conference with 52 points after getting swept by the Vegas Golden Knights in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season
- -38 goal differential is the second-worst in the league (Ducks: -54)
- their average of 2.40 goals-per-game is the second-worst in NHL (Ducks: 2.20)
- their average of 28.7 shots-per-game is the third-lowest in NHL (New York Islanders: 28.6, Ducks 27.6)
- Four-worst power-play (15.5% efficiency)
- Third-worst penalty-kill (75.9% killing rate)
- final game of a three-game homestand after losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and 4-2 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday
- 12-14-2 at home this season
- Center Anze Kopitar leads Kings with 17 goals and 43 points
- Defenseman Drew Doughty leads Kings with 27 assists
- have started selling key players over the season, sending forward Tanner Pearson to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Carl Hagelin and defenseman Jake Muzzin to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Carl Grundstrom, rights to defenseman Sean Durzi, and a 2019 first-round pick
- Signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk, 35, to a three-year deal in free agency; has 12 goals, 27 points, and a -18 rating in 48 games this season
- Starting goaltender: Jack Campbell (7-10-0 with .928 save percentage, 2.23 goals-against average, and one shutout this season); This will be his first career start against the Caps
More From Capitals Game Notes
- Carlson enters Monday’s game one assist shy of 300 career assists
- Through 59 games this season, Ovechkin’s time on ice per shift average is 1:00, the second highest in the NHL (Winnipeg Jets’ defenseman Dustin Byfuglien: 1:03); Should he maintain a one minute average throughout the rest of the regular season, it would be the fourth-highest rate of his career and the most since the 2009-10 season (1:06)
- The Capitals’ team-wide 11.07 shooting percentage ranks fourth in the NHL this season, including an 11.11 shooting percentage on the road this season, the second-highest rate in the NHL
By Harrison Brown
I officially inaugurate the “Rierden Watch.” So — even though the Washington Com-Post and NBCSports/Washington each wrote major pieces last week announcing “Don’t even think about replacing Coach Rierden” — I think he richly deserves to be relieved of his duties. Rierden may be a nice man and a loyal soldier but he’s a miserable hockey coach at the NHL level. The Rierden Watch is On!
Caps were stupid not to re-sign Trotz. Still not over it.
It’ll be funny if only Trotz goes back to back.
I would be delighted for Barry Trotz to get Back to Back Stanley Cups. Would be a great jump-start for the Islanders franchise as they kick off the Belmont era. I’m glad we had the Caps Miracle last year. Will never happen again. Caps Brass is DETERMINED to waste Ovechkin’s last year or two.
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