Photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin
The last time these two teams met, the headless Caps were reeling. After trading away captain Chris Clark, Washington failed to put together a full 60 minute effort and just looked plain off in Los Angeles. Now, more than a year later, the boys from DC have a man with a ‘C,’ but that tune still sounds awfully familiar.
Just over a minute into the contest, Alex Ovechkin ripped the Capitals only tally past Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier. The goal came the moment I was settling in with my nachos at Verizon Center. Coincidence? I think not. However, Anze Kopitar would have something to say about that in the second, flipping the puck over a seated Semyon Varlamov to knot the game at one. Then with 16:24 left in the third, Andrei Loktionov gave L.A. a 2-1 lead as the biscuit once again got past an out of position Varlamov. It would only get worse for the Capitals as Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll pushed the lead to three. By the end of the game, Verizon Center was half empty. Kings beats Caps, 4-1.
- Ovechkin‘s goal was unassisted, making him the only Cap to register a point. Ovi came down the off wing, used Drew Doughty as a screen, and then… BOOM! Just like old times, right? After that, the wheels completely came off.
- The Capitals failed to get over 10 shots on goal in any period. Eight, seven, eight. What’s our rule? If they don’t register 10 in a period, then they didn’t play hard enough.
- Washington’s power play continues to struggle as the Caps went oh for four on the man advantage. When David Steckel has your best scoring chance on the PP then perhaps you should simplify your game.
- In a related note: the Kings’ first three goals came off rebounds.
- Mathieu Perreault struggled in the dot, winning just two of his nine draws.
- Mike Green and Jeff Schultz both had a minus three for the game. Ouch.
- John Carlson blocked four shots in the first period alone, five for the afternoon.
- Matt Hendricks played his usual rough and tumble game, registering a game high seven hits while also managing four shots on goal. Hendricks continues to be one of the few Capitals who seems to be giving it his all night in and night out.
- Both Alex Semin and Brooks Laich were benched by Bruce Boudreau during the final six minutes.
- The players had a closed door meeting after the game. Afterwards, Mike Knuble addressed the media and said, “I don’t know what we’re waiting for. There’s a lot to play for — as players, as individuals, as a team. There’s a lot. Every game is important,” He continued, “Those are huge points we left on the table the last two games.”
- And finally, how bad was it? D.J. King was awarded the Palm as CSN’s player of the game for his fight in the first period and his four hits overall. He had 7:22 TOI, the lowest on the team, and his fight actually seemed to energize Los Angeles.
It’s been a lifeless last two games for the men in red. Sure, it is just 120 minutes of hockey, but the offense was nowhere to be found and the team looked like they had no passion. Just lost. Now, Washington will try to find their mojo as they head off to the valley of sun. It’s the start of on a big 5-game, 9-day road-trip for the Caps.
Catch you back here Monday.
Ian Oland contributed reporting.