GAME: Washington Capitals (8-16-1-1) at Los Angeles Kings (13-10-1-1).
TIME: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
With Ziggy Palffy back from injury and the acquisition of Martin Straka, the
Los Angeles Kings hope they can continue to be a factor in the Pacific
Los Angeles looks for its fourth win in five games when it concludes a
two-game homestand with a matchup against the Washington Capitals.
Palffy was activated from the injured list Thursday after missing five games
after a puck hit him in the face Nov. 22 at Colorado. He was placed on a line
with Jozef Stumpel and Straka, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins on
The line quickly got results as Straka ended a 14-game goal-scoring drought,
helping the Kings beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 to move into first place in the
"We have Ziggy and Stumpy and some other great guys on this team," Straka
said. "Stumpy is a very smart player, and I'm going to try to feed off him. He
moves the puck and he has great vision on the ice."
Straka, 31, was the NHL's fourth-leading scorer in 2000-01 with the
Penguins. He played in his only All-Star game that season and finished with 35
goals and 95 points -- both career highs. He has 187 goals during his career,
including 30 in his first full NHL season in 1993-94.
"We'll take all the goal scorers we can get," Kings defenseman Aaron
Miller said. "He fit right in with all the Czechs and Slovaks. He's a talented
player who can put the puck in the net, and it didn't take him long to show
Washington saw its first winning streak of the season come to an end on
Thursday with a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The Caps had beaten the
Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders in the first two games of their
five-game road trip.
Two other streaks were also snapped for Washington as Robert Lang (16 games)
and Jaromir Jagr (12 games) carried lengthy scoring streaks into the game.
"We weren't effective offensively or defensively," Washington coach Bruce
Cassidy said. "We gave in to the fact that it was going to be a difficult
opponent to fight back against. That's discouraging to a coach because we've
done some good things lately."