Capitals Fall To Kings, 4-2 In West Coast Finale; Alex Ovechkin Scores Career Goal #816, Rasmus Sandin Scores First Goal For Capitals

Photo: Twitter: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals fell to the Los Angeles Kings, 4-2 Monday night at Arena in Los Angeles, Calif. Alex Ovechkin scored in his second straight game and newcomer Rasmus Sandin scored his first goal in a Capitals uniform in the loss. The defeat drops the Capitals record 31-28-6 (68 points) on the season. 

Darcy Kuemper got the start between the pipes for the visiting Capitals. Former Capitals netminder Pheonix Copley got the nod for the Kings. The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha  — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — Craig Smith
Conor Sheary — Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Rasmus Sandin — Trevor van Riemsdyk
Alex Alexeyev – Vinny Iorio
Matt Irwin – Gabriel Carlsson

Extras: Aliaksei Protas, Dylan McIlrath


The Capitals and Kings skated to a scoreless draw if the first period, but the Capitals were extremely lucky they weren’t down 3-0, or worse. Darcy Kuemper was huge in the first frame, stopping all 19 shots on goal.

The Kings dominated in five-on-five shot attempts, 26-5, scoring chances, 16-2, high-danger chances, 9-1 and xGF 1.88 to .34. The Kings were 0 for 2 on the power play while the Capitals did not have a man advantage in the first 20 minutes.


The Kings dominated the start of the second period, but it would be the Capitals that struck first. Newly acquired defenseman Rasmus Sandin (5) potted his first goal as a Capital at 11:39 of the middle frame. Sonny Milano (18) and Dylan Strome (30) were credited with the helpers. Sandin would take several whacks before the third attempt trickled through the five-hole on Copley.

Unfortunately, the Capitals’ lead lasted for just 1:29, as the Kings quickly tied the game. Vladislav Gavrikov (4) tied the game at 13:18 of the second period. Kevin Fiala (45) and Viktor Arvidsson (25) had the assists. It was Gavrikov’s first goal with the Kings since being traded from Columbus last week.

The Kings took their first lead of the night at 19:28,of the middle frame. Phillip Danault (6) potted the go ahead tally. Viktor Arvidsson (26) had the lone assist.

The second period concluded with the Kings leading, 2-1. It was a better period for the Capitals. Five-on-five shot attempts were tied, 14-14. Kings led in scoring chances, 9-5, high-danger chances, 5-2 and xGF .92 to .37 in the middle frame. Faceoffs even 50-50%.


The Capitals tied the game with a five-on-three power play goal from Alex Ovechkin (36) at 2:31 of the third period. Rasmus Sandin (20) and Nicklas Backstrom (8) provided the helpers.

Ovechkin’s goal marks his first career goal against Pheonix Copley, the 169th different goaltender Ovechkin has scored on in his career. Only Jaromir Jagr (178) and Patrick Marleau (177) have scored on more goaltenders in NHL history.

The Kings regained the lead with a goal off the rush by Mikey Anderson (3) at 7:52 of the third period. He was assisted by Quinton Byfield (14) and Adrian Kempe (19).

The Kings added an empty net goal from Adrian Kempe and held on for the 4-2 win.

The Capitals were trounced in the possession metrics. The Kings led in five-on-five shot attempts, 53-27, scoring chances 33-12, high-danger chances, 19-4, expected goals for percentage, 79.03% to 20.97% and expected goals for 3.55 to .94.

The Capitals are back in action on Thursday when they host the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7PM ET.


  • Rasmus Sandin scores his first goal as a Capital to put Washington ahead 1-0. Sandin has recorded four points (1g, 3a) in two games with the Capitals.
  • Sonny Milano recorded the primary assist on Sandin’s goal, his 18th assist of the season. Milano has recorded five points (2g, 3a) in his last five games.
  • Dylan Strome recorded the secondary assist on Sandin’s goal, his 30th assist of the season. Strome has reached the 30-assist mark for the second time in his career (2018-19: 37a).
  • Ovechkin’s goal marks his first career goal against Pheonix Copley, the 169th different goaltender Ovechkin has scored on in his career. Only Jaromir Jagr (178) and Patrick Marleau (177) have scored on more goaltenders in NHL history.
  • Rasmus Sandin scored after posting 0-3—3 in his Capitals debut. He is the second defenseman in franchise history with four points through his first two games with the team, joining Brian Pothier (0-4—4 in 2 GP).

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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26 Responses to Capitals Fall To Kings, 4-2 In West Coast Finale; Alex Ovechkin Scores Career Goal #816, Rasmus Sandin Scores First Goal For Capitals

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can we try putting Strome back with Ovi?. They had good possession numbers earlier this year, and Tom should fit on that line too. No knock on Kuzy but for some reason he hasn’t been able to complete zone entries and moving him off the top line might get him some better match ups.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Worst game of the season, based on possession stats. Is it the inexperienced d? Something else?

    • hockeydruid says:

      The Kings were just the better team. The constant changing of lines has and is having a negative effect and affect on the tam however in the bloated ego of the HC it will not stop. I dont know why the GM just doesnt have him step down and let Scott take over for the remainder of the season. After all Ovie is only 78 goals behind The Great One and 79 to pass him which seems to be the goal of the owner. He has 3 years to get that mark and should achieve it in either late “24/25 or early ’25/26. Keeping a team status quo for several years just to reach a personal record is just plain EGO on the owners part and possession stats, wins or losses or winning the Cup do not matter to him at this time.

    • KimRB says:

      This team consistently has difficulty against young, fast, hard forechecking teams. I reference also the Buffalo game from a week or so ago. While part of it can be chalked up to an inexperienced young D that we have, I think more of the blame is on the system. Laviolette doesn’t make the adjustments when faced with that. His system is always the D has possession, and needs to bring it up ice, under control, instead of bringing forwards back to help. This is suicide against teams like Carolina, Buffalo and Boston.

      Fire PL, bring back Gabby, and we’ll see some improvement

  3. Anonymous says:

    We may win the switching Sandin for Orlov move. Young defenseman, less expensive.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Would love to see the full blueline before the end of the season. Carlson, Fehervary and Jensen. We need to know what we got before offseason.

  5. Marky says:

    Kings are really good and their forwards are all good at defending. Sandin is a real good pickup. Kudos to the pro scouts and GM targeting him.

  6. novafyre says:

    So Ovi has scored against 169 different goalies. 6,843 NHL players have failed to score even 169 goals.

  7. DC Scappeli says:

    hard to watch this game and seeing the offense only had 1 SOG while the Kings were target shooting at Kuemper for most of the 1st. I guess the young guys on D have to go thru some growing pains but they’re getting experience. Gotta build for the future but it’s painful right now to see them getting dominated.

    • Anonymous says:

      The encouraging thing was that they got better as the game progressed and it wasn’t because LA was sitting back due to a four goal lead or something. It was unfortunate that the Zebras missed that high stick at the end, the power play actually looked quite good.

      GMBM said something interesting on the radio yesterday about how you don’t really have time to develop young guys if you’re a team trying to make the playoffs but these last few games this season actually give the Caps a real opportunity to do so. Short term these results are painful but long term it will help them out a lot.

      • hockeydruid says:

        How true and honestly the rest of this season should be used to get more of the younger players playing time especially Protas. Also why the HC insists on playing Backy as the #2 C is way off as he is 3rd line at this point and Strome deserves to be the #1 C. I would try Backy at the wing and tell him he has to shoot more or he is going to be a healthy scratch.

        • Anonymous says:

          That might actually work. Nicky’s vision and passing is still excellent, he can still compete in physical 1-1 battles, and he always had a sneaky good shot. If we can deploy him in a similar way as we play Ovi, that could improve his play and make room for one of our young centers. (Also I know our old guys are old, but having their experience is genuinely beneficial for the guys coming up.)

          Also, fwiw, Claude Giroux made a move from Center to wing and seems to be thriving.

          • hockeydruid says:

            Claude has done very well since his move and Backy would also IF he accepts it and gets his mind right about it. Also with his shot here comes some of that much needed secondary scoring to the tune of 20 – 25 goals a year for the next 2 years and from the 3rd line!! The trick after the 2nd year would be not to fall into resigning him.

  8. KimRB says:

    Rasmus hasn’t played at home yet, but there’s an obvious choice for his goal song: Enter Sandman by Metallica

    • novafyre says:

      On Bret Maverick the late Stuart Margolin played a comic relief character named Philo Sandeen. That theme is what goes through my mind when I hear Rasmus’ name called.

    • KimRB says:

      Another possibility is Sandman by America. A 50 year old song by a geeky folk rock band may not be as cool as a heavy metal classic, but the lyrics of the America song are perfect for taunting a team that just gave up a goal:

      “I understand you’ve been running from the man, that goes by the name of The Sand Man”

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