Tonight the Kings will try to keep it together for a full 60 to 65 minutes after falling apart in the last two minutes like they did in each game at Staples Center since returning from the Grammys Trip. On Thursday, the Kings gave up a goal with 1:38 left and lost in overtime, while on Saturday the Kings gave up two goals in the final 1:13 en route to their fourth straight loss.
Tonight also marks an important stretch of three games (tonight, Thursday at Nashville, and Saturday at Florida) where the players will be heavily scouted and showcased prior to the February 25th trade deadline. I’ll miss some of the guys we’ve come to know and love. But that melancholy attitude is something for another time.
It’s the second rematch for the Kings against a team they played within a week in as many games. Washington beat the Kings 6-4 last Monday and based on the the minutes tallied in Saturday’s
loss moral victory to the Boston Bruins, I am fully expecting interim coach Willie Desjardins to play Drew Doughty 38 minutes and the Anze Kopitar / Dustin Brown line around 50 minutes. (I’m only half-kidding.)
Alec Martinez is still hurt. Jonathan Quick is still ill. And, there is this:
Sean Walker chatted with @reallisa @lakingsinsider and myself. He said he got about 20-25 stitches, two layers because the cut was so deep, but he feels fortunate. He didn't think he'd wear the face shield beyond today.— Curtis Zupke (@curtiszupke) February 18, 2019
There was no practice on Sunday, because (as Kings Insider Jon Rosen reports) Willie D. says, “You have to come back after that loss the next day, the tempers would still be running pretty high. Like, it was just a hard loss to take, the last two...” As I have said a handful of times, why not let Dustin Brown become player-coach?
This recap was supposed to be a running diary, but it was so obvious early that the Kings didn’t have it tonight, just like so many of the other nights this season.
Alex Ovechkin came to play and buried the Kings early. I was feeling this yesterday while writing my Perspectives column. Sometimes I get this sixth sense and that’s why I proclaimed Ovechkin to be the greatest goal scorer ever. Don’t believe me? Click here. This was Washington’s first win in at Staples Center since December 2005, halting an eight-game losing streak in Downtown Los Angeles.
Fun Fact: The only players still in the NHL from that game are Ovechkin and Brown.
Fun Fact II: The last two games the only Kings to score are Alex Iafallo and Ilya Kovalchuk.
Although the Kings closed it to 3-2 with half a minute left, the game was effectively over after two periods. This sums it up nicely:
A discombobulated second period ends with a whimper. The Kings registered a shot on goal with 12:31 left on the clock, their final shot before Fantenberg's with eight seconds remaining. 3-0 Caps after two.— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) February 19, 2019
Caps 1. Kings 0.
OVI IN THE OFFICE >>>>>> pic.twitter.com/sr97O2QaGD— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 19, 2019
Caps 2. Kings 0.
Caps 3. Kings 0.
Might be Presidents' Day, but the office is definitely open pic.twitter.com/MYfb8mNuDr— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 19, 2019
Caps 3. Kings 1.
Caps 3. Kings 2.
Next: The Kings travel to Nashville on Thursday to take on the Predators.
"I thought we played pretty good throughout the game. But they have a good power play and they capitalized on two power plays, and that was the difference." - Head Coach Willie Desjardins pic.twitter.com/UbzfutgkQQ— LA Kings (@LAKings) February 19, 2019
Celebrity Zamboni Rider:
Funniest Tweet Tonight (might be the funniest of the entire season):