Loss Angeles, No More - When the Caps finished off a tidy 3-2 win over the Kings in Los Angeles on Monday night, it marked a first for almost every guy in a white Capitals sweater. Among the group, only Caps captain Alex Ovechkin had experienced a victory while sporting that sweater in Los Angeles. More than 13 years after they last earned two points in the City of Angels, the Caps ended that drought with plenty of help from Ovechkin.
Ovechkin scored a pair of power-play goals and Pheonix Copley stopped 26 shots to earn his third straight victory and his 13th of the season, as the Caps ended an eight-game losing streak (0-6-2) in Los Angeles. Before Monday's victory, the Caps' most recent triumph here came two months into Ovechkin's rookie season, by an identical 3-2 count on Dec. 14, 2005.
Monday's win also enabled the Caps to bounce back strong after an ugly 5-2 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim on Sunday in the front end of the set of back-to-backs. Washington is now 2-2-0 on the trip with two games remaining.
Video: Caps Postgame Locker Room | February 18
"No one said it was going to be an easy road trip," says Ovechkin. "It's always hard to play those teams. Obviously [Sunday] night we lost and it was very important for us to bounce back. I think we played smart most of the whole game and we made a couple of mistakes, but Cops was pretty good out there. He kept us in the game."
In that win over the Kings in 2005, Jamie Heward's second power-play goal of the game came with 63 seconds left in the third, and it provided the margin of victory for Washington. The Caps trailed 2-1 going into the third, but tied the game on Brian Sutherby's shorthanded goal at 8:58 of the third. Ovechkin assisted on both of Heward's extra-man tallies, and Olie Kolzig made 24 saves to earn the win.
Of the 40 players who suited up for both sides in that Dec. 2005 game in Los Angeles, only two remain active in the league today, Ovechkin and Kings winger Dustin Brown.
Power Duo - Ovechkin scored Washington's first and third goals on the power play, as the Caps went 2-for-2 with the extra man in Monday's game, scoring on each of the two shots on net they had on the power play.
Monday's game marked the 20th time that Ovechkin has netted two or more power-play goals in the same game, and the second time he has done so this season (Oct. 17, 2018 vs. New York Rangers).
Only once in the course of his 1,061-game NHL career has Ovechkin scored three times on the man advantage in the same game, and that was on March 28, 2017 against the Wild in Minnesota.
Video: WSH@LAK: Capitals strike twice in 20 seconds
Power Surge - Monday's game is the first in which Washington has scored more than one power-play goal since Dec. 11 when it also went 2-for-2 with the extra man in a 6-2 win over Detroit at Capital One Arena. The Caps went 29 games without scoring multiple power-play goals in the same game; they endured a 21-game stretch earlier this season, a streak that was snapped in that Dec. 11 game.
In each of three straight games now, the Caps have scored their first goal of the contest as a result of an Ovechkin drive from his left dot office on the power play. Last Thursday in San Jose, T.J. Oshie collected the rebound of an Ovechkin shot from that spot and deposited it to tie the game at 1-1 early in the first. On Sunday in Anaheim, Ovechkin scored from that spot just as a Washington power play expired, lifting the Caps to a 1-0 lead in the first.
Both of the Caps' power-play goals in Monday's game came after Jakub Vrana used his speed to draw tripping penalties on Kings defenders.
"We are just trying to find our looks," says Caps defenseman John Carlson, who supplied the primary helper on both Ovechkin goals. "It depends on how they play it and what they're doing. It's just all reads and sometimes it works out. And sometimes you get the same looks and it doesn't. It's going decent for us on the power play right now."
The last time the Caps had a longer drought between games with multiple power-play goals was a 43-game dry spell eight years ago, during the 2010-11 season. Washington went from Nov. 28, 2010 through March 7, 2011 without putting up a crooked number in the power play goals column.
Video: Todd Reirden Postgame | February 18
Helping Hands - Carlson ran his power play point total to 24 (one goal, 23 assists) on the season, tops among Capitals. Among all defensemen in the league, Carlson trails only Florida's Keith Yandle (28) and Boston's Torey Krug (26) in power-play points.
Two In Twenty - A mere 20 seconds after Ovechkin netted the game's first goal, the Caps were able to expand their lead with a Brett Connolly goal. Those two tallies are the fastest pair of goals scored by the Caps this season.
On Oct. 4, 2018 in the Caps' second game of the season in Pittsburgh, Oshie scored two goals in a span of 21 seconds in the third period of a game against the Penguins, enabling the Caps to come back from a 6-4 deficit to force overtime in what wound up as a 7-6 loss in the extra session. Until Ovechkin and Connolly combined to score two goals in 20 seconds against the Kings, Oshie's pair was the fastest for Washington this season.
By The Numbers - Matt Niskanen led the Caps with 23:47 in ice time … Ovechkin, Carlson and Michal Kempny had three shots on net each to lead the Caps, and Ovechkin and Kempny each had five shot attempts to lead the way … Nic Dowd and Tom Wilson each had two hits to pace Washington … Niskanen led the Caps with five blocked shots … There were only 40 face-offs in Monday's fast-paced game, and the Caps won only 13 of them (33 percent).