The Washington Capitals do not beat the Los Angeles Kings very often. In their history, Washington is only 37-57-13-3 against Los Angeles. That’s the fourth lowest point percentage the Caps have against any team in their history.
When the Kings visit Capital One Arena on Monday (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington), Washington will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak against Los Angeles.
The last time the Caps beat the Kings, however, they walloped them.
Washington hosted Los Angeles on Feb. 5, 2017, Super Bowl Sunday. Alex Ovechkin was honored in a pregame ceremony for recording his 1,000th point. A cutout of Ovechkin’s head was given to all the fans, and even Ted Leonsis had his on the ice for the ceremony.
As for the actual game, Philipp Grubauer started against Peter Budaj and turned aside all 38 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season. Washington shelled Budaj four times and ended up winning 5-0.
Five different players scored for Washington with Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Marcus Johansson, T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams all finding the back of the net.
Could we see a similar result on Monday?
Like in 2017, the Caps will start their backup goalie, Pheonix Copley. Also, Washington’s third line is suddenly hot, so Connolly and Eller could also have big nights again.
Unfortunately, however, Monday’s game won’t include any Ovechkin cutouts for the fans.
Other game notes:
Copley Monday, Holtby Tuesday
The decision to start Copley on Monday comes as no surprise, as Washington is set to play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Todd Reirden will save Braden Holtby for a key division matchup against the Blue Jackets, and Copley will start Monday against a Western Conference opponent.
A familiar lineup
Based on the morning skate, here are the Caps’ projected lines:
Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky – Lars Eller – Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson – Nic Dowd – Devante Smith-Pelly
Michal Kempny – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik – Christian Djoos
Does that lineup look familiar to you? It should. That is the same lineup from the Stanley Cup Final, but with Dowd in place of Jay Beagle. Kuznetsov and Wilson are back up on the top line, while Backstrom and Oshie move down to the second. It also means Dmitrij Jaskin is a healthy scratch once again.
Monday’s game is the sixth and final game of a season-long six-game homestand. After Monday’s game, the Caps will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday, also their longest of the season.
Washington plays Columbus on Tuesday then goes to California for games against the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. They return East for quick trips to Toronto and Buffalo and finally return home for a matinee matchup against the New York Rangers on Feb. 24.
With the road trip looming, that makes Monday’s game a pretty big one for Washington, which has gone 3-1-1 through the first five games of the homestand.
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