CAPITALS (29-16-10) at KINGS (24-18-12)
7:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
CAPITAL VISIT: Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Capitals this season; the Kings fell to Washington 4-0 on February 3 at the Verizon Center. The Capitals have won four of their previous five games; they’re playing the second game of a three-game swing through California, and coming off of a 5-4 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night. The Kings are riding a three-game win streak, they’re coming off of a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames Thursday night.
LINEUP NOTES: Jonathan Quick left the ice first at the Kings’ morning skate at Toyota Sports Center, so he is expected to start tonight. No players remained on the ice for extra work, so it is unclear whether Andy Andreoff or Nick Shore will play alongside Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line. Derek Forbort is expected to be a healthy scratch. Per Jon Rosen, here’s a look at tonight’s lineup projections:
GABORIK – KOPITAR – LEWIS
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – STOLL – WILLIAMS
CLIFFORD –SHORE – ANDREOFF – NOLAN
REGEHR – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – GREENE
MCNABB – MCBAIN
MARTINEZ ON THE MEND: Alec Martinez has missed the past two games since taking a crushing hit in last Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Martinez, who continues to suffer from concussion-like symptoms, has not yet returned to skating with the team. Derek Forbort was called up from the Manchester Monarchs earlier in the week to help fill Martinez’s void, but he has yet to make his NHL debut.
BEATING BRADEN: Washington’s Braden Holtby turned away the Kings with a 27-save shutout performance in the Capitals’ 4-0 win on February 3. For the Kings, it was their fourth time being shutout this season. Holtby will be making his second-career start against the Kings tonight; he comes in with a 26-11-9 record, posting a .924 SV% and a 2.18 GAA. Holtby made 26 saves Wednesday night in Washington’s 5-4 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks.
STANDINGS WATCH: The Kings come into the night three points behind the Calgary Flames for the Western Conference’s second and final wild-card playoff spot. The Kings are five points behind the Vancouver Canucks for third in the Pacific Division with a game in-hand, and six points behind the San Jose Sharks for second in the Pacific Division with three games in-hand.
WHO’S HOT: Tyler Toffoli (6G, 2A) and Jeff Carter (3G, 5A) come into the night with eight points in their last seven games played. Dwight King has registered two straight multi-point games, atoning for four points (2G, 2A) during the streak. Jon Rosen breaks down how those three players have helped carry the Kings following the All-Star break:
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In Washington’s previous visit to STAPLES Center on March 20 of last season, the Kings won the game 2-1 in a shootout. Anze Kopitar have the Kings a 1-0 lead in the first period; Washington’s Joel Ward tied the game 1-1 in the third. Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik scored for the Kings in the shootout, while Jonathan Quick turned away all three of the Capitals’ shootout attempts. Quick made 21 saves in the win. The Kings are 6-2-1 all-time against Washington at STAPLES Center.
SLOVAKIA TO SLOVENIA
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE pregame coverage at 6:30PM on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:00PM PT.