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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 25th (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Kings (41-25-6) at Washington Capitals (34-27-11), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals hope to continue their recent surge and help their playoff chances when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Tuesday's inter-conference clash at Verizon Center.

The Capitals enter Tuesday only one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington has helped its postseason cause in a big way lately, posting a 4-0-1 record over the last five games.

Detroit and Toronto are currently occupying the East's two wild card spots with 80 points apiece. Washington is one point behind the clubs and Columbus, which hosts Detroit on Tuesday, is just one point in back of the Capitals. The Maple Leafs also skate tonight when they host the St. Louis Blues.

In addition to being one point out of the East's final playoff spots, the Capitals are only three back of Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The top three spots in each division earn automatic bids to the playoffs.

Washington's resurgent penalty killing unit has a hand in the club's recent success. The Caps are tied for the 18th-ranked PK in the NHL, but have killed off 17-of-17 penalties during its current five-game point streak. The club also has killed 23-of-25 penalties dating back to March 6.

The acquisition of Jaroslav Halak also has been a boost for the Capitals, but the goaltender missed the club's last game with a lower-body injury. Halak did skate at practice on Monday and could play tonight.

"I think he's fine and he should be ready to play (Tuesday), if we need him," Caps coach Adam Oates said. "We're still talking about it, actually. We've got to make sure he's okay after the (Tuesday morning) skate."

Halak, who came to D.C. earlier this month after a trade with Buffalo, is 4-2-1 with a 2.13 goals against average and .935 save percentage in his first seven outings with Washington.

With Halak out Saturday in San Jose, goaltender Braden Holtby was able to anchor the Capitals' 3-2 shootout win over the Sharks. Holtby came through with 34 saves through regulation and overtime to help Washington complete a three-game road trip with a 2-0-1 record. The lone loss of that swing came in a shootout defeat against this evening's opponent, the Kings.

Nicklas Backstrom buried the game-winner in the third round of the shootout to send the Caps to Saturday's 3-2 win over the Sharks. Eric Fehr and Chris Brown scored in regulation. Brown's goal was his first in 14 career NHL games.

"It was a pretty special feeling obviously," Brown said of his first career goal. "But we got the win. That's the thing that's most important. We got the two points and kept the season alive."

Halak is 6-6-1 with a 2.25 GAA in 13 career games versus the Kings. He took the loss last Thursday in Los Angeles despite stopping 27-of-28 shots through regulation and OT.

Last week's win over the Caps was the sixth straight triumph in this series for L.A. The Kings also have claimed nine of 11 in the matchup and have taken two in a row and four of the past five meetings in D.C.

Los Angeles heads into Tuesday's game riding a three-game winning streak after picking up a victory Monday evening in Philadelphia. The 3-2 regulation win came at the start of a three-game road trip for the Kings.

The Kings squandered a 2-0 lead in the third period, but Dwight King was able to deliver the game-winner at 10:36 of the final stanza. King's tally came 2:18 after Jakub Voracek tied it up at 2-2 for the Flyers.

Jeff Carter and Justin Williams -- both former Flyers -- scored for the Kings and Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots in the win.

It was the sixth straight road victory for L.A., which is now 20-12-3 as the visiting team this season. The Kings will complete their swing Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

03/25 10:58:00 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
 
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
 
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
 
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0