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Kings-Capitals Preview @NHL

Alex Ovechkin had yet to play professional hockey the last time the Washington Capitals won at home against the Los Angeles Kings.

The second-year star is still learning about the NHL, including how to work his way out of slumps, but he's the biggest reason the Capitals have a good chance of ending a nearly nine-year home drought against the Kings on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles (18-30-8) is 4-0 with one tie at Washington (22-25-8) since a 3-2 loss on April 4, 1998.

Ovechkin was 12 years old then, and played as a pro for the first time in 2001-02 with Dynamo Moscow in the Russian league. That was before the Kings and Capitals last played in Washington, a 3-2 Los Angeles win on Nov. 10, 2003.

Ovechkin, now one of the NHL's top players, is in the midst of the longest slump of his career, going without a point in a three straight games.

During his Calder Trophy-winning season of 2005-06, Ovechkin didn't go more than two consecutive contests without a point. He only had three droughts of that length, each time snapping it with a multi-point game.

"Is he doing anything differently? I don't think so. Not off the top of my head," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said after a 3-2 shootout loss to Boston on Tuesday night. "I'm not concerned about it, because we know he's going to score."

Ovechkin, who took only two shots on goal against the Bruins, ranks among the NHL leaders with 33 goals. He hadn't even gone pointless in two consecutive games this season until now.

"I feel good," Ovechkin said. "I don't know. Sometimes it happens, you know."

In his only game against the Kings, Ovechkin had two assists - including one on the decisive goal - as the Capitals won 3-2 on Dec. 14, 2005 in the teams' last meeting.

Washington will be playing the third of four straight games at the Verizon Center, where it is 5-1-1 since losing four straight. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has the second-fewest road wins in the NHL (7-18-1). Only Florida, at 6-14-8, has fewer road victories.

The Kings, owners of the worst record in the Western Conference, are 2-8-3 in their last 13 games and may be without center Michael Cammalleri for a second straight contest.

Because of what team officials called a muscle strain, Cammalleri sat out a 3-2 shootout loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. No other details regarding the injury that sidelined the Kings' second-leading scorer were provided.

Cammalleri has 22 goals and 29 assists in 55 games.

Kings defenseman Mike Weaver scored his first NHL goal Tuesday. Weaver, playing in his 123rd game, scored during the Los Angeles' two-goal third.

"It's about time," said Weaver, originally credited with two goals before a postgame scoring change. "I wish we would have had a victory there at the end, but we didn't. I'm just going to enjoy (the goal) for a couple of hours, then forget about it and concentrate on the next game."

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