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Preview, Game Day #56: Los Angeles Kings @ Washington Capitals

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Judging by recent trends it looks like the Kings are gonna win tonight. I spoiled that for you, sorry, no need to watch.

8-on-8 violence. "but where is CALIFORNIA'S GREAT 8???" wondered Drew Remenda somewhere
8-on-8 violence. "but where is CALIFORNIA'S GREAT 8???" wondered Drew Remenda somewhere
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings @ Washington Capitals

Time: 4:00 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, Comcast Sportsnet DC

Enemy Reading: Japers' Rink

Los Angeles Kings

Lucic-Kopitar-Brown
King-Carter-Toffoli
Pearson-Lecavalier-Lewis
Clifford-Shore-Nolan

McNabb-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinez
Gravel-Schenn

Quick
(Budaj)

Injured: Gaborik Scratched: Andreoff, McBain

Washington Capitals

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie
Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-Williams
Chimera-Johansson-Wilson
Laich-Richards-Latta

Schmidt-Carlson
Alzner-Niskanen
Orpik-Orlov

Grubauer
(Holtby)

Injured: Beagle Scratched: Sill, Chorney

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Kings Capitals
Record 33-19-3 40-10-4
Points 69
84
Division Rank 1st 1st
Streak Lost 1
Lost 1
Goals For/Game 2.78 3.35
Goals Against/Game 2.38
2.31
ES Goal % 51.2
58.9
ES Shot %
54.4 51.5
ES PDO 99.1
102.4
ES Corsi % 56.4 50.4
ES Fenwick % 55.9 50.8
ES Scoring Chance % 55.1 50.6
ES High-Danger SC % 54.0 50.4
Power Play % (Rank) 23.1 (2nd)
24.4 (1st)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 81.6 (10th)
83.7 (5th)
Starting Goalie (today) Quick Grubauer
Goalie Record 28-14-2 5-4-1
Save % .918 .919
ES Save % .925 .923

Notes:

  • Yes folks, your long national nightmare called "John goes to the Kings games live" is over. I went on Thursday and saw them lose to the Islanders, and then went on Sunday and saw them get shut out by the Devils' backup goalie. Fun times! Of course, the one game I didn't go to in the greater New York metropolitan area was the one the Kings won, just as I predicted it would be. But anyway, I'm done going to games for the year so maybe the Kings can start, like, winning them again.
  • There is a pattern going on to the Kings of late (beyond "screw that John person" I mean), as one of our commenters pointed out prior to Friday night's game with the Rangers (and it held up in the two games since as well). Yes, the Kings have been solidly in the win-one, lose-one pattern for quite a while now, dating back to January 24th against the Sharks. Of course, if that pattern holds the Kings should come out on top tonight. But hopefully they can follow up tonight's presumed win by breaking that pattern, because you know that giant cushion they had in the Pacific division? Yeah, it's not so giant anymore: the red-hot Ducks (8-1-1 in their last 10 games) are just 5 points back, and the Sharks (6-2-2 in their last 10) are 6 points back with a game-in-hand. Win-one, lose-one might not be enough to hold either one of them off, let alone both.
  • Of course, upon first glance the quality of the Kings' opposition tonight might scare you into thinking the win-one, lose-one streak could be coming to an end via a loss instead. The good news for the Kings is the Capitals are not quite the world-beaters their place in the standings make them first appear to be; their possession and scoring chance numbers are all very average (granted, they do lead a lot which skews things and they do better in score-adjusted numbers) and they're shooting a pretty ridiculous 9.1% at even strength, just 0.1% behind the league-leading Rangers. Of course this is a team that has that Ovechkin fella and some other highly talented shooters, but the fact remains they've had some major luck on their side in putting up the record they have. None of that means their luck is gonna run out tonight though, but if/when the Capitals get knocked out in the 2nd round for about the umpteenth year you can at least say you saw it coming.
  • There's a couple of ex-Kings here, as you probably know: our old pal Justin Williams is having a strong year on the Caps' 2nd line with 18 goals and 20 assists for 38 points in 54 games, while Mike Richards centers their 4th line in a really nice comeback story after the team we all cheered for completely screwed him over (not that I'm bitter about it or anything). I like both guys a lot, which means they're both going to score on us tonight I think.
  • Don't worry about that shaky goaltending over the weekend everyone: Jonathan Quick is BACK!!! Sure, he has an even strength sv% since January 1st of .909. That sounds bad. But listen you. Something something STATS DON'T TELL THE WHOLE STORY.
  • PREDICTION: Kings win 3-2 in overtime. Goals by Williams and Richards for the Capitals and a hat trick by Kopitar. Let's go.