NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 20th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (33-27-10) at Los Angeles Kings (38-25-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The suddenly-sliding Los Angeles Kings will try to return to the win column on Thursday when they host the streaking Washington Capitals at Staples Center.

The up-and-down Kings have gone 0-3-0 on the heels of a season-best eight-game winning streak. Prior to claiming eight consecutive victories, however, Los Angeles had gone through a 1-8-1 stretch from Jan. 18-Feb. 3.

Despite the inconsistency, L.A. is still holding onto the last of the Pacific Division's three automatic bids to the playoffs. The Phoenix Coyotes, however, are just five points behind the Kings in fourth place, and L.A. dropped a home test against the Coyotes in its most recent outing.

The Kings hope to end their slide on Thursday by continuing their recent success against the Capitals.

L.A. has won five straight and 10 of the past 14 meetings in this series, although the teams haven't faced each other since the Kings notched a 5-2 home win on Jan. 9, 2012. That was Washington's third straight setback in the City of Angels.

The Kings are 0-3 so far on a five-game homestand that ends Saturday against Florida. Los Angeles last played in Monday's game against Phoenix, which picked up a 4-3 regulation win at Staples Center thanks to Jeff Halpern's game-winning goal with 3:05 left in the third period.

With the game tied 3-3 late in the third, a Phoenix counterattack saw a blocked shot ricochet into the left circle, where Halpern was waiting all alone. With Jonathan Quick scrambling following the change of direction, Halpern threw a shot on net that the LA netminder appeared to stop from his back before making another incredible save on the rebound attempt to keep the game tied.

However, at the next stoppage, video review showed Halpern's shot fully cross the goal line before Quick's stick knocked it back into play.

Marian Gaborik, Alec Martinez and Tanner Pearson all lit the lamp, while Quick stopped 23 shots for the Kings, who entered the game 21-0-0 this season when leading after two periods.

"I don't think I played well enough," Quick admitted. "You give up four goals you are going to lose games. I got to be better."

Quick hopes to get back on track tonight. He is 2-0-0 with a 2.50 goals against average and .931 save percentage in two lifetime appearances against the Capitals.

Kings captain Dustin Brown has missed the last two games with an illness but expects to return for Thursday's tilt.

Washington, meanwhile, enters Thursday's clash on the strength of three consecutive wins. The first two victories came in D.C., but the Capitals kicked off a three-game tour of California with a Tuesday's 3-2 win at Anaheim.

The Capitals most likely will have to stay hot to make the postseason. Washington enters Thursday tied with Columbus for the last playoff spot in the East, but the Blue Jackets, who visit Montreal on Thursday, hold two games in hand over Washington.

The Detroit Red Wings, who host Pittsburgh on Thursday, are also just one point behind the Caps and Jackets. Detroit also has played two games less than Washington.

Washington began its California swing with Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Ducks. Alex Ovechkin netted the game-winner on the power play 2:44 into the third period to lift the Caps to victory.

Anaheim's Mathieu Perreault potted a power-play goal to tie the tilt at 1:32 of the third, but Ducks forward Matt Beleskey went off for slashing at 2:36 and Ovechkin buried a one-timer from the low left circle just eight seconds into the ensuing man-advantage to put Washington on top for good.

It was Ovechkin's 46th goal of the season, giving him eight more than Anaheim's Corey Perry for the NHL lead.

Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer registered a goal apiece, while Jaroslav Halak stopped 43 shots for the Capitals.

Halak is 4-2-0 with a 2.35 GAA and .931 save percentage in six games since coming over from Buffalo in a trade. He is 6-6-0 with a 2.38 GAA in 12 career games against the Kings.

Washington had lost three straight on the road before Tuesday's win in Orange County and is just 13-16-5 as the guest this season. The Caps are set to complete this swing Saturday night in San Jose.

03/20 10:52:50 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Panthers Blackhawks Hockey
Toews scores 2 to help Blackhawks beat Hurricanes 5-2

After practice the previous day, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said his teammates were capable of stepping up and "filling the void" created by the loss of injured leading scorer Patrick Kane.

Related Stories
  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tonight at 9:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
TEMPL
7:30pm Tonight
NCCU
NCAT
 
5th
DET 1
ATL 0
 
4th
TAM 0
BAL 0
 
5th
PIT 0
NYY 0
 
4th
HOU 1
PHI 1
 
6th
MIA 0
STL 2
 
3:05pm Today
SFG
CHC
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
CWS
LOS
 
3:05pm Today
ANA
MIL
 
3:05pm Today
CHC
OAK
 
3:05pm Today
SEA
SDP
 
3:05pm Today
KAN
TEX
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
5:05pm Tonight
WAS
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
POR
DAL
4:00pm Today
MDES
MRGST
 
5:00pm Tonight
SIENA
NIAG
7:00pm Tonight
LEH
AMER
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
ARK
7:00pm Tonight
LAF
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
PETE
FAIR
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
HC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENNM
MORE
7:00pm Tonight
COL
NAVY
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
TEMPL
7:00pm Tonight
FATL
UAB
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHAR
WKENT
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
WISC
7:05pm Tonight
MIZST
SILL
7:30pm Tonight
COPST
DELST
 
7:30pm Tonight
FIU
MTST
7:30pm Tonight
HAMP
NORST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCCU
NCAT
 
7:30pm Tonight
COOK
SCST
 
7:30pm Tonight
APP
TXST
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
TXARL
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
UGST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ODU
MARS
8:00pm Tonight
TXSA
RICE
8:00pm Tonight
FAM
SAV
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SMISS
8:15pm Tonight
LALAF
ARKLR
 
8:30pm Tonight
JST
ALAAM
 
8:30pm Tonight
GRAM
ALAST
 
8:30pm Tonight
TXSOU
ALCOR
 
8:30pm Tonight
NICST
CARK
 
8:30pm Tonight
TAMCC
HOUB
 
8:30pm Tonight
NARZ
PORST
 
8:30pm Tonight
LAM
SHSU
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKST
SALA
 
8:30pm Tonight
PVU
SOUTH
 
8:45pm Tonight
NO
SELA
 
9:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
ABCHRIST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
9:00pm Tonight
WASH
COL
9:00pm Tonight
BEL
EILL
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
IDAHO
 
9:00pm Tonight
QUIN
MAR
9:00pm Tonight
UCONN
MEM
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
UNT
9:00pm Tonight
STEPH
NWST
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
SACST
 
9:00pm Tonight
DAVID
VCU
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
EWASH
 
9:35pm Tonight
DRAK
BRAD
10:00pm Tonight
LBSU
CSNO
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CSFU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCR
 
11:00pm Tonight
ARST
STAN
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
UTAH
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
CAL
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
MIN
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
STL
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
NYI
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
VAN
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
MON