Caps Hang On to Defeat Kings 3-2

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After a complete dud Sunday night in Anaheim, the Washington Capitals bounced back in Los Angeles Monday night at Staples Center with a 3-2 win over the Kings. Thanks in part to two Alex Ovechkin office goals as well as a deflection from Brett Connolly, the Caps defended and held off a late rally from the home team. 

Taking penalties cost the Caps the night before so things got nerve wracking when John Carlson went to the box for tripping Anze Kopitar at 7:52. This time though the Caps PK came through. They took a different defensive approach laying out and trying to block shots from going in. Matt Niskanen cleared the puck right before it crossed the goal line. Michal Kempny also made a great block later on. It paid off and the successful kill gave the Caps the momentum they needed.

On the other end, Jakub Vrana drew a tripping call on Derek Forbort 10:28. 80 seconds later an Alex Ovechkin shot from the office put the Caps up 1-0. It was his 41st goal of the season.

The Caps wasted no time to get that all-important second goal. 20 seconds after Ovechkin’s goal. Brett Connolly deflected in a shot from Andre Burakovsky to make it 2-0. Connolly has 14 goals on the season.

The score would be 2-0 Washington after the first 20 minutes. The Kings had the edge in shots 10-7 but the Caps clearly had momentum on their side after that PK.

At 5:02 in the second, V drew another tripping call. This time Jeff Carter was the culprit. The Caps went back on the power play and maybe I don’t even have to describe this ensuing goal. Yup. It was Ovi from the office once again at 5:27. Ovechkin’s goal was his 42nd of the season. Per Tom Gulitti of NHL.com, 10 of Ovechkin’s 13 power play goals have been scored from his iconic spot.

There was a slight scare for Burakovsky. He did head off the ice after blocking a shot with his hand. Burakovsky has had those injuries in the past where he’s misssed significant time but this would turn out to be a false alarm. He came back out for the third period. The second period ended with the Caps leading 3-0 and shots being even at seven all.

The Kings got on the board at 8:20 of the third with a goal from Alex Iafallo. Then they got a power play chance. At the 13 minute mark, Tom Wilson and Kyle Clifford went at it, each getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Ovechkin joined Wilson in the sin bin at 14:43 for tripping Oskar Fantenberg. The Caps were faced with a 4-on-3 but killed it all off.

The Kings got back into the game they pulled their goalie Jack Campbell for an extra attacker. A goal from Ilya Kovalchuk with 28 seconds left made it a one-goal deficit but the Caps would hang on for the win. Pheonix Copley got the win, stopping 26-of-28 shots for a .929 save percentage.

The Capitals continue their season-long six game road trip Thursday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

I would like to end this article on a personal note. This story is my final article with Friends in Cold Places. It was a tough decision and one that I did not take lightly. This isn’t the end of Caps content from me though. I am joining up with a different site. Things are still finalizing so I want to wait until I make an official announcement.

I want to thank Maggie, Brittney, and Chris for taking me under their wing this past summer. Even though I’m leaving they’ll always be family.

Support your bloggers. We love the pro journalists who cover the Caps and we got a lot of great ones, but the more people who write about the team the merrier. Every once and a while stories from the fan side of things provides a fresh new perspective. That’s probably one of the best joys of blogging. We are your voice. We love providing original stories and photos to all of you and we don’t do it for fame or money, we do it for fun because we love it!

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