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Capitals best Kings in what ‘felt like a playoff game’

Los Angeles Kings v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings and goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings collide in the second period against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on February 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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It’s the middle of February and the playoffs are still two months away.

But a clash between the Washington Capitals, the top team in the NHL’s overall standings, and the L.A. Kings, a Stanley Cup champion in two of the last four years and the top puck possession team at even strength, had a certain spring feel to it. A preview of things to come in June? That might be too early and too strong a statement for right now.

But a measuring stick match-up between two teams capable of doing damage in the post-season?

That’s fair.

In the end, the Capitals came away victorious with a 3-1 decision, bolstered by a late goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.

“If we get to the Stanley Cup final there is a good chance they will be there too. We were excited to play this team and excited to hopefully win this game,” said Drew Doughty, as per LA Kings Insider.

“I thought we played OK, but bottom line is we have to score goals and we have to win games, and right now we are not.”

The Capitals move six points up on Dallas for the No. 1 spot in the overall standings. And they still lead the league with 3.29 goals-for per game. And they took care of a stern test against the Kings on Tuesday, in a match-up the Capitals had also been looking forward to.

“We were kind of excited to play against these guys,” Andre Burakovsky told CSN Mid-Atlantic.

“They already got two Cups and we’ve got none. We’re trying to be the best team in the league and if we want to be the best we have to take out the best. It felt like a playoff game. It was a fast game and we battled it through and had a big two points.”