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Rank the Players: Kings Explode for Two Even-Strength Goals, Take Down Caps

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Thursday, it was the old contingent. Tonight, it was the European contingent.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Los Angeles Kings Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Kempe’s glorious first career goal ended up being the game-winner at Staples, as LA kept pace in the playoff race. Rank the Players!

It’s hard to believe that the two teams combined for only 41 shots on goal in this game. This was one of the more wide-open contests of 2016-17, and the Capitals had a number of good chances miss the net or get blocked. Granted, the Kings did too, but this could have been a different game if either of Washington’s second-period posts didn’t occur. The Kings have had some horrid post-related luck this season, though, and I’m not complaining.

LA, on the other hand, took their chances tonight. Marian Gaborik got a fat rebound and converted. Anze Kopitar helped convert an open Jeff Carter shot. And Kempe? Well, he created his own chance, and did so beautifully. Impressive enough at any level; REALLY impressive to score your first in the NHL in the third period of a tie game in the middle of a playoff race.