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Capitals' Holtby looks to stay hot against Kings

by Curtis Zupke

CAPITALS (29-16-10) at KINGS (24-18-12)


EL SEGUNDO, Calif.Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr is a microcosm of his team in that he’s trying to get better after a bad spell.

Regehr said he’s still feeling the effects of an illness he got earlier this week, but he’s played through it and will again try to help the Kings keep their winning streak going Saturday against the Washington Capitals at Staples Center.

"I’m still kind of so-so," Regehr said. "It’s lingering here a little bit longer than I hoped. I don’t know if it’s a bug or if it was a food issue. I went out with the guys in Columbus one night. Most of the guys had a fish dish, and I had something a little bit different, and I seem to be the only one who got sick that night. Hopefully it will be gone soon."

Regehr has been paired with defenseman Drew Doughty the past two games. The two have been paired together before and give the Kings a different dynamic because of Doughty’s ability to cover the ice and Regehr’s stay-at-home, physical style.

"He’s a very instinctual player and one that is fairly consistent with what he likes to do, so you don’t have to worry about him too much about where he’s going to be," Regehr said of Doughty. "He’s a guy that will go back-and-forth and listen to what you say and we’ll talk about things, and that’s nice to have an open, receptive relationship because there’s things that happen sometimes … you discuss and figure things out."

Defenseman Alec Martinez does not appear to be ready in the immediate future. He has been out with concussion-like symptoms since Feb. 7. The Kings have gone 2-0-0 without him and are trying to win four straight games for the first time since a six-game winning streak from Oct.12-26.

They may miss Martinez in the long run because of his power-play time. They have scored one power-play goal in six games.

Washington goalie Braden Holtby was off the ice first at practice Saturday and will likely start. Holtby made 27 saves in a 4-0 shutout win against the Kings on Feb. 3. Washington began a four-game trip with a 5-4 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday and likely won’t make major changes to its lineup.

Left wing Alex Ovechkin did not score Wednesday, but he has 10 points in 10 career games against the Kings.

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex OvechkinNicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson

Brooks LaichEric FehrJoel Ward

Jason ChimeraEvgeny KuznetsovTroy Brouwer

Aaron VolpattiJay BeagleTom Wilson

Brooks OrpikJohn Carlson

Karl AlznerMatt Niskanen

Steve OleksyMike Green

Braden Holtby

Justin Peters

Injured: Dmitry Orlov, John Erskine

Scratched: Andre Burakovsky, Michael Latta, Jack Hillen


Marian GaborikAnze KopitarTrevor Lewis

Dwight KingJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Dustin BrownJarret StollJustin Williams

Kyle CliffordNick ShoreJordan Nolan

Robyn RegehrDrew Doughty

Jake MuzzinMatt Greene

Brayden McNabbJamie McBain

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Injured: Alec Martinez (concussion symptoms), Tanner Pearson (leg)

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Derek Forbort

Suspended: Slava Voynov

Status report: Quick was off the ice first and will make his 12th straight start … Capitals coach Barry Trotz told the Washington Post that Burakovsky won’t play. Volpatti will likely play his second game this season for Washington.

Who’s hot: Holtby is 4-1-1 since Jan. 28. Toffoli has six goals in his past seven games. Carter had three assists Tuesday and leads Los Angeles with 41 points.

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