HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 9:00 AM Pacific
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (requires cable subscription)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Kings fan: Before yesterday’s game we asked if Budaj could sustain his road excellence, and he did. The Caps present a series of new issues, though; when a power play unit with the best goalscorer of the millennium is the team’s weak spot, you’re in for it. At any rate, LA probably can’t expect another shutout, so an early burst from the top six and some discipline are going to help.
if you’re a Capitals fan: Gosh, life is good, isn’t it? Washington has only lost three games since January, and the only one of those where the starting goalie played was that 8-7 game, which I’m pretty sure was a figment of our imaginations. However, the Caps are on a back-to-back, which means Philipp Grubauer might start, which means you may have to actually tune in to find out if that eight-game home winning streak continues. Sounds rough.
if you’re a hockey fan: Well, it’s the morning of Super Bowl Sunday and the game’s on national television, so why wouldn’t you watch? You also get the league’s best team, the two-time Cup winner, Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Carter, Justin Williams, Nicklas Backstrom, Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli, and (probably) Peter Budaj and Braden Holtby. How much fun is that?
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Toffoli. He got 15:12 of ice time against the Flyers, which was actually more than he’d received in three of his prior six games. (Darryl Sutter, we should talk about that.) So he’s going to get some action, and I’m going to say that LA will need him and Carter to produce a couple goals. You all seemed pleased with his game on Saturday, so let’s hope he finds consistency immediately.
for the Capitals: Williams. We thought that Toffoli was going to be Williams’ replacement in LA, but judging by this year’s stats, maybe it was Tanner Pearson:
That certainly isn’t a slight against Williams, who has had an incredible scoring touch this season. It especially isn’t a slight when you consider the 11-year age gap. Williams is still effective and still dangerous, but he’s only got one goal against LA in his career, on December 8, 2005.
Give me all of this.