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game preview

Capitals at Kings preview

Washington looking to bounce back; Los Angeles has lost four in row

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

CAPITALS (32-20-7) at KINGS (23-29-6)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, NBCSWA, NHL.TV


The Game

The Washington Capitals will try to avoid consecutive losses for the first time this month when they play the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Monday.

Washington, which is playing in the second game of a back-to-back following a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, is 5-3-1 in its past nine games after losing seven in a row (0-5-2) and leads the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Los Angeles is coming off a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday and is 0-2-2 in its past four games, allowing 18 goals in that span. The Kings are in last place in the Western Conference but trail the Minnesota Wild by eight points for the second Western wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Players to watch

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season against the Ducks and has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.

Kings center Anze Kopitar has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.


They said it

"There's going to be games you lose, but if you're playing consistently and doing the same thing over and over … you're happy with the effort you put in. Right now, I think inconsistent is a good word to describe it." -- Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik on their recent play

"It's a long year and we've kind of been in this position for the majority of the year, so definitely wears on you. But at the same time, you've got to be professional. We're still building for something, to be a better team, and I think that translates into the younger guys and showing them how to be pros." -- Kings forward Kyle Clifford


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Travis Boyd

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Chandler Stephenson -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Christian Djoos

Pheonix Copley

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Madison Bowey, Nic Dowd

Injured: T.J. Oshie (upper body)


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Brendan Leipsic -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Carl Hagelin -- Adrian Kempe -- Ilya Kovalchuk

Kyle Clifford -- Trevor Lewis -- Austin Wagner

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Oscar Fantenberg -- Paul LaDue

Dion Phaneuf -- Matt Roy

Jack Campbell

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Michael Amadio

Injured: Alec Martinez (upper body), Sean Walker (upper body), Jonny Brodzinski (shoulder)


Status report

Oshie did not return for the second period against the Ducks, and coach Todd Reirden said after the game he would be evaluated Monday. … Washington did not have a morning skate. … Quick (illness) is healthy enough to play but will not start as a precaution, coach Willie Desjardins said.


Stat pack

Carlson needs one assist for 300 in the NHL. He has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past two games. … Kuznetsov has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past seven games.

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