The Washington Capitals answered a disastrous seven-game losing skid (0-5-2) with a promising homestand, as the club has secured at least a point in four of its last five contests. Washington bids to conclude its six-game run at Capital One Arena in style on Monday when it hosts the Los Angeles Kings, who have secured a point in four straight contests (3-0-1) heading into the finale of their six-game trek.
Third-line forward Brett Connolly recorded his second three-point performance of his career with two goals and an assist in Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss versus Florida, but his hooking penalty in the offensive zone in the waning moments of regulation led to the Capitals' undoing. "To take a penalty at that time of the game - good call, bad call, whatever - that's one we can't take there and they made us pay for it," Capitals coach Todd Reirden told reporters. The Kings can relate as Ilya Kovalchuk's tripping penalty put his team on the defensive before Patrice Bergeron scored in overtime, although coach Willie Desjardins opted to take a positive spin on Saturday afternoon's 5-4 loss to Boston. "In the end it was a good point," Desjardins told reporters. "The guys battled back ... The thing I've liked about this group is that they don't give up and it was good to see them turn around and get a couple (goals in the third period) and end up with one point anyway."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS West (Los Angeles), NBCS Washington
ABOUT THE KINGS (23-27-5): Captain Anze Kopitar recorded his team-leading 17th goal on Saturday and has 10 (four goals, six assists) of his club-best 41 points in the last seven games. The 31-year-old Slovenian had an assist in Los Angeles' 3-1 win over Washington on March 8 and Jeff Carter, who is nursing a lower-body injury, scored and set up a goal in that contest. Jonathan Quick turned aside 52 of 55 shots to win both meetings last season with the Capitals, improving to 9-2-0 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in his career versus the club.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (30-18-7): Connolly's line has been quite productive of late, with Andre Burakovsky notching two assists versus the Panthers to give him six points (two goals, four assists) in his last eight games while Lars Eller has four points (one goal, three assists) in his last seven. Of course, captain Alex Ovechkin is the key cog in the offense and the three-time Hart Trophy recipient has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last six contests, although he was held off the scoresheet in both encounters with Los Angeles last season. Fellow Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied twice in a 5-2 setback against the Kings on Nov. 30, 2017 and has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past seven games overall.
1. Los Angeles RWs Adrian Kempe (four goals, two assists) and Tyler Toffoli (three goals, three assists) are riding four-game point streaks.
2. Capitals D John Carlson has 23 of his club-best 41 assists at home this season.
3. Kings RW Dustin Brown resides one point shy of 600 for his career.
PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Kings 1 Bet Now
See all the NHL hockey Predictions