The Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals will both be trying to bounce back from losses when they meet Saturday in the nation’s capital.
The Kings, who lost 6-1 Thursday at Pittsburgh, will be wrapping up a five-game trip. It had been a successful one until they met the Penguins, winning each of the first three games — at Minnesota, Detroit and Nashville by one-goal margins, with the Red Wings game decided in overtime and the Predators game in a shootout.
In Pittsburgh, the Kings fell behind 3-0 after one period.
“The only thing is the (first) period is as bad as the score is, I didn’t think our play was that bad,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. “Just a couple (of) tough breaks. We’re down 3-0 and then you’re obviously playing catch-up. You’re trying to make something happen. It didn’t happen tonight.”
Kings goaltender Cal Petersen was pulled after stopping just six of nine shots in the first period.
“I guess with Cal, there’s no secret we have to get him going,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “He has to play like he can play. He’s an NHL goaltender. He’s an outstanding young man that’s played extremely well at this level. We’re trying, just like we would with forwards and defensemen, to get him to where he can be. He has to be better.”
The Kings’ three-game winning streak came after they lost their first two of the season.
“When I look at the start we had, I thought we played the way we wanted to play,” McLellan said. “We played fast. We were aggressive, forced them into situations where they had to turn the puck over. Things were going pretty well for us. Even after the first goal, I thought we responded well. By the time it got to three, unfortunately, it wasn’t the same way anymore.”
The Capitals got off to a good start Thursday in Ottawa, taking a two-goal lead, before suffering a 5-2 defeat.
T.J. Oshie and Anthony Mantha scored on first-period power plays for Washington and Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves.
“I feel like the first 20 (minutes) we were chipping pucks with speed, going on the forecheck and turning pucks over,” Oshie said. “By the end of the first, I thought we’d backed them up a little bit. I believe we had some entries just by carrying the puck.
“We were shooting, we were supporting each other, and that kind of just went away. I don’t know, maybe they tired us out or we got a little overconfident with the puck, or whatever it was.”
The Senators took the lead 5:53 into the third and added a pair of empty-net goals for the lopsided final result.
“We shot ourselves in the foot too many times with the puck,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolettte said. “In the first period, we did exactly what we wanted to do. We put the puck north, we put it behind them, we’re in the offensive zone, we’re putting pucks to the net. In the second period and the third period, we played east-west hockey and didn’t deliver any pucks. It’s not good enough.”
The Senators tied the score on a pair of power-play goals by Drake Batherson less than two minutes apart in the second period, both with Oshie in the penalty box.
“Definitely the two penalties on me hurt us,” Oshie said. “And then we just couldn’t get back on our feet.”
–Field Level Media