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Game Day Watch, 3/11: Washington Capitals @ Los Angeles Kings

“Tough sledding.”

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

HOW TO WATCH

Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

if you’re a Kings fan: The thrill of two points on Thursday was nice, but there were two facts countering that joy: the Kings let playoff rival Nashville pick up a point, and they failed to score a goal at even strength. (Yes, again.) The good news tonight? If LA needs overtime or a shootout to win, that means nothing. The bad news tonight? The Caps are stingy, having allowed six goals in their previous five games. Which players can kickstart the offense?

if you’re a Capitals fan: The Caps have a three-point lead on the rest of the NHL, and more importantly, a three-point lead on Pittsburgh and Columbus. Allowing either squad to pass them means an immensely tougher first-round matchup, and after kicking off their California swing with a loss, back-to-back games against LA and Anaheim suddenly matter.

if you’re a hockey fan: Washington has lost consecutive games for only the second time in 2017. Meanwhile, LA hasn’t won consecutive games since a five-game winning streak surrounding the All-Star Break. The game that ended that particular run? A 5-0 loss to Washington on February 5. Given that these are the always-keep-it-close Kings, odds are you’ll get a more entertaining experience if you watch tonight.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

for the Kings: Every forward. Cheating, yes, but nothing LA does on defense will matter tonight unless (a) they shut out the Caps, which is unlikely, or (b) they can scrounge up goals. They’re not going 3-for-3 on the power play every night. Unless that works!

for the Capitals: Kevin Shattenkirk. Hey, he’s not having trouble putting up points; he’s got assists in each of his last three games for Washington. The deadline’s biggest acquisition still hasn’t quite found his footing defensively for the Caps, but he’s getting bigger minutes and bigger responsibilities for his new squad.

KINGS WATCH

  • The Kings are going to have to start handling their own business if teams keep giving up late goals to St. Louis Blues. I mean, they’re gonna have to start handling their own business anyway, but you get my point. [St. Louis Game Time]
  • The team playing St. Louis tonight has motivation; they’re currently eighth in the East and set to play these very Caps in the first round. Fortuntately, they’ve been hot. [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • If you need a music recommendation, Tyler Toffoli suggests the Lumineers. Also, what the heck are Sweetos? (He met fans at a Ralph’s yesterday.)

WATCH THIS

Howzabout a look at a win over Washington three years ago, in which the Kings scored four and overcame a two-goal deficit? That spring of 2014 was just chock-full of two-goal comebacks.