Washington (44-15-7) at Los Angeles (32-28-6)
When: Saturday, March 11th 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:35 ET | TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic, FSN West
The Washington Capitals will try to break-out of a mini slump when they continue their California road swing with a visit to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. Washington has recorded back-to-back losses for the first time in over three months after a 4-2 loss in San Jose on Thursday, but still lead the NHL with 95 points in 66 games. Washington’s third-ranked scoring offense (3.2) has hit a bit of a wall since their bye week, scoring only 22 times in their last ten games. Former King Justin Williams scored in Washington’s 5-0 rout of Los Angeles on February 5th, but has just one goal in his last 13 games while superstar Alex Ovechkin is mired in a career-long 16-game, even-strength goal drought. Trade deadline acquisition Kevin Shattenkirk continues to help the blue-line unit out, as the defenseman set up a goal on Thursday to both extend his assist streak to three games and match his career high in points with 45, set in 2013-14 with St. Louis. Shattenkirk is two assists shy of tying his career high of 36 in 2014-15, but he was held off the scoresheet in two meetings against the Kings this season while playing with the Blues. Nicklas Backstrom (team-leading 46 assists, 67 points) has scored three goals and set up another in his last five games overall and had an assist against Los Angeles last month.
The Kings are making a move toward the final Western Conference playoff spot with points in four of the last five games and sit only three points behind St. Louis for eighth place. Veteran Jarome Iginla recorded his first multi-goal performance of the season by scoring in overtime of Los Angeles’ 3-2 win over Nashville on Thursday to improve the Kings to 2-1-0 on their seven-game homestand. Forward Marian Gaborik recorded his third multi-point performance of the season on Thursday by scoring and setting up a goal on the power play. The power play has been on fire for the Kings lately, scoring with the man advantage in each of the last four games and are 7-for-14 in that stretch. Los Angeles’ third-ranked penalty kill has burned-off 48-of-50 short-handed situations over the last 20 games – the best in the league during that span. Defenseman Drew Doughty has an assist in three straight games to increase his season total to 29, one behind center Anze Kopitar for the team lead. Netminder Jonathan Quick owns a 3-0-1 mark with a .918 save percentage since his return from injury. The Kings resume their homestand with a visit from St. Louis on Monday.
Washington is struggling right now to score goals and they’ll be going up against a pretty good goalie in Quick. Los Angeles has played the good teams tough recently, owning a 6-0 mark against teams with a .600 or greater win percentage. I’ll take the home team.
Pick: Kings +100
HEAD TO HEAD
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