The Washington Capitals continue their season-long six-game road trip with the second half of the stretch Monday night at Staples Center where they’ll take on the Los Angles Kings. These teams actually met one week ago at Capital One Arena with the Caps coming on top 6-4. Since the win, which ironically capped off a season long homestand of six games, the Caps have gone 1-2-0 thus far on the trip.
Coach Todd Reirden kept the same lineup from last Thursday’s big win over the San Jose Sharks in the Capitals’ last game one night ago in Anaheim, hoping the same mojo would work against an opponent not as tough as the Sharks. That wouldn’t be the case though. The Caps faltered 5-2 and they lost T.J. Oshie to an upper-body injury. Tonight is a chance for redemption for both teams. The Kings look to avenge a loss from a week ago. The Caps? They simply want to have a better game than they did on Sunday night.
Reirden did speak to the media before the game. He said Pheonix Copley will get the start in goal, not really a surprise considering Braden Holtby got the start last night. He also noted that Oshie is a game-time decision.
If you’re on the east coast, get your coffee ready. Puck drop is at 10:30 p.m.
- Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday to reach the 40-goal plateau for the 10th time in his career, joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky (12), Marcel Dionne (10), and Mario Lemieux (10).
- With 23 Capitals games remaining, Ovechkin is aiming to become the third player in NHL history to reach 50 goals in a season at least eight times (Wayne Gretzy and Mike Bossy: nine).
- John Carlson recorded a goal and an assist against the Ducks yesterday. Over the last two seasons, Carlson has 31 multi-point games, the second-most among defensemen in the NHL (San Jose’s Brent Burns: 36).
- Jakub Vrana recorded an assist against Anaheim yesterday, marking his second straight game with a point (1 goal, 2 assists). Vrana now has 36 points this season.
- Nicklas Backstrom, who is the all-time franchise leader in assists (632), is second on the Caps this season in points (13 goals, 42 assists).
- Backstrom is eight assists shy of becoming the only player in the NHL to record at least 50 assists the last six straight seasons.
- Ovi has 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 18 career games against the Kings. Backstrom has nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 15 career games against the Kings. T.J. Oshie has 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists) in 27 career games against the Kings.