NHL Hockey

Kings stay hot at home with 4-2 win over Ovechkin, Capitals

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) Mikey Anderson scored in the third period and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.

Adrian Kempe, Phillip Danault and Vladislav Gavrikov also scored, and Pheonix Copley made 20 saves as the Kings won their sixth straight game on home ice.

"We want to keep building our game. We know we can get even better, and obviously we want to carry that into the playoffs," Danault said.

Alex Ovechkin had a power-play goal and Rasmus Sandin had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who failed to pick up a third straight road win in California. Darcy Kuemper had 37 saves.

"We want to win every game," Sandin said. "Probably not going to happen during 82 games, but we obviously need to get every point we can."

The Kings dominated the first period, but didn't have anything to show for it. It wasn't until the third period when Anderson restored the lead 3-2 at 7:52, netting his third goal of the season off the rush, that they finally established a degree of control.

Kempe chipped in an empty-net goal with 1.8 seconds remaining, giving him 30 for the second straight season.

Copley continued his unexpected success, reaching the 20-win mark in 29 games. He is the fastest Kings goalie to get to 20 wins, besting the 30 games Jonathan Quick needed in 2015-16.

"I care a lot about winning but, again, it shows just how special this team is," Copley said. "We got a great group here and we're excited."

Kings coach Todd McLellan was pleased with the game management displayed throughout, something that has been an issue for much of the season.

"We were patient to score and we were committed to check, and those two things are pretty good traits to have this time of year," McLellan said.

The Capitals admitted they were lucky to be hanging around in the third after being outshot 19-3 in the first. It was the fewest shots Washington has put on net in the first period this season.

"That's two games in a row we came out slow, came out soft," Ovechkin said. "We need to play well for the whole game to have a chance to win."

SIGNATURE SPOT Oveckhin tied it 2-2 at 2:31 of the third, burying his trademark one-timer from the left circle during a two-man advantage after Copley had saved two prior attempts. It was his 36th goal of the season and 11th on the power play, while Copley became the 169th goalie to concede a goal to Ovechkin.

Sandit set it up with the primary assist but admitted "I didn't do too much. That's his signature spot."

NEW GUYS Both the Capitals and Kings acquired defensemen in the run-up to the trade deadline, and it was Sandin and Gavrikov who opened the scoring for their new teams.

Sandin now has one goal and four assists in two games for Washington. Gavrikov got his first point in three games for Los Angeles.

"I knew it was gonna take a while, like, learning the details and stuff. I feel more comfortable every game," Gavrikov said.

NOTES: Kings D Sean Durzi is being evaluated for a possible concussion after taking a hit to the head from T.J. Oshie in the third period, McLellan said. ... Kings F Zach MacEwan made his team debut after being acquired in a trade from Philadelphia on Friday. ... Capitals D Nick Jensen (upper body) and Martin Fehervary (lower body) practiced in non-contact jerseys on Monday. Both players were injured against Anaheim on Wednesday.

UP NEXT Capitals: Host New Jersey on Thursday night. Kings: At Colorado on Thursday night. --- AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated March 7, 2023

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