Washington Capitals vs. Los Angeles Kings Pick & Prediction JANUARY 7th 2024


Washington captain Alex Ovechkin will be a game-time decision Sunday afternoon when the Capitals, looking to avoid a third straight loss, host the Los Angeles Kings.

Ovechkin, who has two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak, collided awkwardly with Jordan Staal in the third period of Friday’s 6-2 loss to the visiting Carolina Hurricanes and did not practice Saturday.

The 38-year-old star has a team-leading 25 points in 37 games this season.

Washington, seventh in the Metropolitan Division entering Saturday, has lost six of its last seven.

Washington led 2-0 against Carolina before surrendering six unanswered goals.

“I didn’t think it was close the entire game,” Washington coach Spencer Carbery said. “Even though we had the 2-0 lead, it never felt comfortable. It never felt like we had any momentum — other than on the scoreboard — so we knew we were in a really difficult spot and couldn’t flip it.”

The Capitals are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games and 9-6-4 on home ice this season.

Rasmus Sandin (illness) didn’t practice Saturday and will not play Sunday. Sandin has five helpers in his last five games.

Dylan Strome has a team-leading 14 goals in 37 games. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is 9-9-2 with a 3.25 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage.

Washington edged host Los Angeles 2-1 on Nov. 29 in the only other meeting this season.

The Kings enter Sunday’s contest riding a season-worst four-game losing streak after dropping a 4-3 shootout to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

“I’m sure it’s frustrating for everybody, it is for the staff, but when things aren’t going well, sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get out of it,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “I think (Thursday) was a step in the right direction in comparison to what we had versus Toronto.”

Los Angeles dropped two games on its three-game homestand in shootouts.

“The shootout is not treating us real well right now,” McLellan said. “We’re not getting any saves, and we’re not scoring any goals, so the combination of those is a disaster in the shootout.”

The Kings, third in the Pacific Division entering Saturday, are 13-2-1 on the road and 4-4-2 in their last 10 games.

Adrian Kempe has a team-leading 35 points in 35 games. The 27-year-old has five goals and eight points over his last six games. Trevor Moore leads the Kings with 17 goals in 35 games.

Captain Anze Kopitar, who is tied with Kempe with 35 points in 35 games, has a goal and three assists in his last five games. Netminder Cam Talbot is 14-8-3 with a 2.10 GAA and a .925 save percentage.

–Field Level Media

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