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game recap

Kuznetsov has four points, Capitals defeat Kings

Gets two goals, two assists; Ovechkin scores for first time since All-Star break

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent

Kuznetsov's gorgeous goal

LAK@WSH: Kuznetsov dekes out Quick for second goal

Evgeny Kuznetsov gets open in the slot and makes a deft move to the forehand to deposit his second goal of the game

  • 01:03 •

WASHINGTON -- Evgeny Kuznetsov had two goals and two assists for the Washington Capitals in a 6-4 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Capital One Arena on Monday.

Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 38th goal and had two assists for the Capitals (31-18-7), who finished their season-long six-game homestand 4-1-1.

Brett Connolly, Christian Djoos and Jakub Vrana also scored, and Pheonix Copley made 29 saves for Washington.

 

[WATCH: All Kings vs. Capitals highlights]

 

"When chances come up, you just have to execute," said Kuznetsov, who has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak. "It's hard to play alone. Right now, when all five guys are rolling and we're all sharing the puck, when we're all in the game, it's always easy to play like that."

Video: LAK@WSH: Ovechkin sneaks power-play goal past Quick

Austin Wagner scored two goals for the Kings (23-28-5), who went 3-2-1 on a season-long six-game road trip. Tyler Toffoli and Oscar Fantenberg also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves.

"It was a tough trip. I thought we played real good the first game [a 4-2 loss against the New York Islanders], and we didn't get anything out of that one. But we bounced back, played good in the middle," Los Angeles coach Willie Desjardins said. "It was just a tough game tonight. We didn't seem to have our legs, but I thought the guys battled."

Ovechkin made it 1-0 at 3:07 of the first period with a one-timer from the left face-off circle on the power play for his first goal in five games since Jan. 23. He has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in his past seven games.

The Kings tied it 1-1 when Derek Forbort sent a no-look pass across the crease to Wagner at 4:50.

"Obviously, some stuff happened today with the team and I was told to be ready to play tonight, so I was ready to go," Wagner said, referring to the trade of forward Nate Thompson to the Montreal Canadiens.

Connolly's third goal in two games gave Washington a 2-1 lead. Quick made a pad save on his initial shot, but Connolly roofed the rebound at 15:17.

Toffoli scored his fourth goal of the road trip when his one-timer from the slot during a power play tied it 2-2 at 17:22 of the first.

The Kings took a 3-2 lead at 3:42 of the second period when Fantenberg ended a lengthy stretch in the Capitals zone with a wrist shot through traffic from the point.

Video: LAK@WSH: Kuznetsov slams home rebound in front

Kuznetsov tied it 3-3 when he knocked in a rebound at 6:39.

"His ability is obviously at an elite level, and he's been doing some really good things," Washington coach Todd Reirden said of Kuznetsov. 

Djoos gave the Capitals a 4-3 lead at 10:31 when he lunged and poked in a loose puck one-handed.

"A little lucky," Djoos said. "I didn't try to do that really, but I'm happy that it went in."

Vrana's one-timer from the right circle at 13:09 increased the Washington lead to 5-3.

Wagner got the Kings to within 5-4 when he knocked in a rebound at 10:25 of the third period.

Kuznetsov scored off an Ovechkin pass after a Los Angeles turnover to make it 6-4 at 15:13.

"I think we score a goal and we have a few good chances to tie it up, but then we make one mistake and they score the goal, so the game was over," Kings forward Ilya Kovalchuk said.

Video: LAK@WSH: Djoos flicks puck in with one hand on stick

 

They said it

"When [the Capitals] transition or when they break out, they're quick. And it's not just one or two guys that are quick. They always seem to have four guys in the rush. Eventually, we just seemed to lose our coverage because they just put pressure on us with their speed." -- Kings coach Willie Desjardins

 

"We wanted to play a little bit better hockey, actually a lot better hockey after the break, and this homestand was pivotal for us to gather as many points as we could. It didn't go perfect, but at least we were able to bank some points here before we go on the road." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

 

Need to know

Forward Trevor Lewis returned for the Kings after missing 38 games because of a broken foot. He was plus-2 with an assist in 11:54. … The Kings traded Thompson and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft to the Canadiens for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft. … Kempe has seven points (four goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Toffoli has seven points (four goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Washington's T.J. Oshie has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his past nine games. 

 

What's next

Kings: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNP, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)  

Video: Kuznetsov posts four points in Capitals' 6-4 win

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