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|7:30 PM PT8:30 PM MT9:30 PM CT10:30 PM ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 PM MST10:30 PM EST7:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 18, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 18,230
No rest for Capitals, but can Kings take advantage?
The Los Angeles Kings are at the end of an odd but favorable stretch of their schedule.
So far, they've failed to take advantage.
They'll take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals at Staples Center on Monday night, the third straight opponent on this three-game homestand that burned a significant amount of energy while playing at the Anaheim Ducks the night before.
The Kings haven't benefited from opponent fatigue in the first two games of the homestand, particularly in the final minutes of regulation, when the drain of playing back-to-back nights often takes over the legs.
The Vancouver Canucks traveled to Los Angeles on Thursday after getting shut out by a Ducks goalie making his first NHL start. The Canucks scored the tying goal with 1:38 left in regulation before beating Los Angeles 4-3 in a shootout.
Two nights later, the Kings hosted Boston less than 24 hours after the Bruins shut out the Ducks. Playing their third straight game without leading goal scorer David Pastrnak, the Bruins gave up the tying goal with 4:23 left in the third period, but then scored twice in the final 1:13 to win 4-2.
"That was a tough one," Kings coach Willie Desjardins told reporters after the latest loss.
The Capitals will be looking for improvement in their play after losing 5-2 to the Ducks on Sunday night.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season to become the fourth NHL player with at least 10 seasons of 40 goals, but Washington lost forward T.J. Oshie to an upper-body injury in the first period.
Oshie was one of the hottest players for the Capitals with 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in the previous 11 games.
"Meaningful games now," said Washington defenseman John Carlson, who had a goal and an assist against Anaheim and needs one more assist for 300 in his career. "We've got to take home points."
As was the case against the Bruins, the Kings will be playing the Capitals twice in seven days.
Los Angeles visited Washington on Feb. 11, two days after losing in overtime to Boston to start the current four-game losing streak. The Kings couldn't hold a 3-2 second-period lead against the Capitals and lost 6-4.
Washington forward Evgeny Kuznetsov matched his season high with four points (two goals, two assists) in the win against Los Angeles.
The Kings didn't have forward Jeff Carter when they played the Capitals last week because he was sidelined with a lower-body injury, but Carter returned from his five-game absence on Saturday and played 18:28 against the Bruins.
Carter scored 32 goals two seasons ago, but injuries have limited him to 23 goals in 79 games over the past two seasons. Carter has performed well against the Capitals in his 14-year career, with 13 goals and 15 assists in 31 games.
The Kings can use all the offense they can get.
Although the Ducks have fallen below the Kings in recent weeks as the lowest-scoring team in the NHL, Los Angeles still needs to significantly improve its production, especially against high-scoring teams like the Capitals.
"We just have to find ways to make better plays and score goals," said Kings forward Anze Kopitar, who has 17 goals after scoring a career-high 35 last season. "Just make plays. Try to be in the offensive zone as much as you can and go to the net."
--Field Level Media
Updated February 18, 2019