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Game Day #66, Preview: Washington Capitals @ Los Angeles Kings

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME TRIBUUUUUUTES

that purple stick tape!
that purple stick tape!
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Washington CapitalsLos Angeles Kings

Time: 7:30 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy Reading: Japers' Rink

Los Angeles Kings

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

Scuderi-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinez
McNabb-Schenn

Quick
(Enroth)

Injured: Gaborik, Greene, Nolan Scratched: McBain, Andreoff

Washington Capitals

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie
Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-JUSTIN WILLIAMS
Chimera-Johansson-Wilson
Winnik-MIKE RICHARDS-Beagle

Alzner-Niskanen
Orpik-Orlov
Weber-Schmidt

Holtby
(Grubauer)

Injured: Carlson Scratched: Galiev, Latta, Chorney

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Kings Capitals
Record 39-22-4 49-13-4
Points 82 102
Division Rank 2nd (...) 1st (by a million)
Streak Won 1
Won 2
Goals For/Game 2.69 3.24
Goals Against/Game 2.29
2.29
ES Goal % 52.6
57.6
ES Shot %
54.8 51.5
ES PDO 99.4
101.9
ES Corsi % 56.3 50.4
ES Fenwick % 56.1 50.8
ES Scoring Chance % 54.4 51.1
ES High-Danger SC % 54.2 51.6
Power Play % (Rank) 22.2 (5th)
23.3 (3rd)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 81.1 (15th)
84.7 (4th)
Starting Goalie (today) Quick Holtby
Goalie Record 33-17-3 41-8-3
Save % .919 .923
ES Save % .931 .931

Notes:

  • The big story: the returns of Mike Richards and Justin Williams. If you're going, practice your standing ovations before you show up.
  • The Capitals deserve some recognition, because they managed to keep Anaheim from earning two points for the first time in a LONG time on Monday. Of course, this only underscores how tough this game is going to be for LA.
  • For one: the LA penalty kill finally did some work on Monday, killing all five Vancouver penalties, but Washington offers a whole new challenge on that front, with #8 unleashing slappers from the left circle for two minutes. Did I mention their PK is great, too?
  • The depth up front is impressive as well. 23-year-old Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is their second line center, happens to be leading the entire NHL in even strength points and assists per 60 minutes (2.83). Alexander Ovechkin, who is Alexander Ovechkin, is leading the entire NHL in even strength goals per 60 minutes (1.36). And anchoring the third line is Marcus Johansson, a 24-year-old who's going to break 40 points for the third straight season.
  • The one area of the Caps LA might capitalize on? The defense, who is missing John Carlson. They made a Scuderi-esque deadline acquisition when they grabbed Mike Weber, who was a sporadic scratch for the Sabres, and plugged him into their blueline after Carlson's injury.
  • Rob Scuderi and Drew Doughty: still a thing.
  • Jeff Carter also remains on the wing. I have my doubts about weakening your own center depth so severely, but the first line is certainly capable of exploding. I can only hope Darryl matches up King-Lewis-Brown against that dangerous second line and not Pearson-Lecavalier-Toffoli.
  • LA has a good chance of outpossessing Washington tonight. Outscoring is another matter. Score three and I like their chances.
  • PREDICTION: I cry into my Justin Williams jersey.