The Kings skated toe-to-toe with the NHL’s best Tuesday night up until the final moments in their 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
Playing the fifth of their seven-game road trip, the Kings were reunited with former teammates Mike Richards and Justin Williams for the first time since the two’s tenures with the organization came to a close at the end of last season.
Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings’ net after a three-game absence after suffering a lower body injury on February 9 in Boston.
There was no shortage of penalties called in the opening period, five total, three on the Kings. It was during their third penalty of the opening frame where the Kings connected for their first and only goal of the evening.
While Washington possessed the puck in the Kings’ zone, Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin broke through on a two-on-one sequence that was disrupted by a diving Drew Doughty.
Doughty’s play cleared the Kings zone, where Dustin Brown hopped on the puck in transition. Upon entering Washington’s zone, Dustin Brown fed Anze Kopitar, who drove wide, burying a rebound off of his own shot high past Philipp Grubauer from a sharp angle.
Andre Burakovsky scored for the Capitals with 49 seconds remaining in the second period to tied the score 1-1.
With just over two minutes left in regulation, Evgeny Kuznetsov jammed home a Justin Williams feed to give Washington a 2-1 lead.
Jason Chimera added an empty-net goal with nine seconds left to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead.
In what was his 12th game with the Capitals, Mike Richards logged 11:49 minutes of ice time, firing off a pair of shots and laying one hit.
Justin Williams, who’s having a magnificent season with Washington, assisted on the game-winner, adding in a pair of shots and one shot blocked during his 18:31 minutes on the ice.
Drew Doughty (1A), Anze Kopitar (1G) and Dustin Brown led all Kings players in points scored (1), Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Luke Schenn in shots taken (5), Dustin Brown in hits delivered (5), Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (31:29). Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in the loss.
The Kings will continue their season-long seven-game road trip Thursday night when they take on the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 5:00 PM PST.