NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 12th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (29-22-3) at Washington Capitals (29-16-10), 12:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Kings have earned a point in every game at the start of a lengthy road trip and they will try to post a victory this afternoon, as Los Angeles visits the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.
The Kings are 2-0-2 on a 10-game road trip and are coming off Thursday's overtime loss in Pittsburgh. Overall, Los Angeles is 12-13-2 as the visiting club this season.
Despite currently sitting last in the Pacific Division, LA has 61 points and is just three points out of playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings are also seven points behind Dallas for the Pacific lead.
LA was dealt a 2-1 loss by the Penguins on Thursday, as Jordan Staal scored with just 19 seconds left in OT to give Pittsburgh the home win at CONSOL Energy Center. With time winding in the extra stanza, Pascal Dupuis was able to chip the puck into the Los Angeles end behind the defender. It bounced off the right boards as Staal was able to catch up to it and from the right circle snapped a shot between the right arm and body of Jonathan Quick.
Jarret Stoll had the lone goal and Quick finished with 24 saves for the Kings.
"Bottom line is this is a team with four or five regulars out of the lineup," LA defenseman and former Penguin Rob Scuderi said of a hobbled Pittsburgh team that also continues to play without forward Evgeni Malkin or captain Sidney Crosby. "This was a great chance for us if we play a 60-minute game to get two points."
The Capitals, meanwhile, will try to get back on track when they wrap a three- game homestand today. Washington is 17-6-7 as the host this year and had defeated the Penguins last Sunday to begin the residency, but was then dealt a 2-0 loss by San Jose on Tuesday.
Logan Couture and Dan Boyle scored in the third period and Antti Niemi made 25 saves to lift the Sharks to the win in D.C. San Jose fired 36 shots at Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who stopped 34 as Washington had a two- game win streak broken.
Neuvirth made 27 saves through the first two periods, but the Sharks' pressure paid off with time winding down in regulation.
"For some reason, we didn't have a lot of jump on the ice tonight," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "When you get behind by two goals, this is what happens."
With 68 points, the Capitals are currently three behind Tampa Bay for the Southeast Division lead. Washington is also two points ahead of Montreal for the Eastern Conference's fifth seed.
Caps forward Alexander Semin returned from a hip injury on Tuesday after sitting out the previous 12 games with the issue. Semin has played in just 40 games this season, but is third on the team with 35 points.
LA has taken three straight and six of its last eight encounters with the Capitals in this series. The Kings also have five wins in their last seven trips to Washington.
02/12 10:30:24 ET