Los Angeles Kings (28-21-1-3 SU, 25-26 PL, 15-25-11 O/U) vs Washington Capitals (34-11-2-4 SU, 22-29 PL, 23-18-10 O/U)
When: 12:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 5, 2017
Where: United Center in Washington, D.C.
NHL Hockey action on Sunday afternoon and the Los Angeles Kings will square off with the Washington Capitals at the United Center in Washington D.C. The Kings have a road game vs Philadelphia on Saturday prior to this one and they will be looking to build on a four-game win streak in that game, while the Capitals have a road game against Montreal on Saturday.
Kings Need A Bit More Offense
The Los Angeles Kings have been playing very well of late, especially in the crease as they have allowed just three goals of their last four games. That play in the net has been strong for the whole year so far, but if they hope to stay in the playoff chase then they will need to start getting more from their offense. They are in the bottom 3rd of the league in scoring and at some point that net play just won’t be there to save them. The Kings have scored more than three goals just once in their last nine games. LA has been led this year by Jeff Carter, who is 2nd in the league in scoring with 26 goals, while Tanner Pearson is 2nd on the team with 15. No one else for the Kings has more than eight goals on the year. The lack of offense could be their eventual downfall this year.
Jeff Zatkoff should get the nod here at Peter Budaj did play in Philadelphia on Saturday. Zatkoff is 2-8 with a 2.94 GAA on the year, including 2-5 with a 2.61 GAA on the road, while vs the Caps in his career he has gone 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA. The Kings enter this game ranked 22nd in the league in scoring at 2.55 gpg, while also ranking 8th in shots taken (30.8 spg) and 21st in power play conversions, converting on 17.7% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.35 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots allowed (25.8) and 7th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.7% of their chances.
Caps Are Again Leading The League In Points
Last year, the Washington Capitals won the President’s Cup, which is given to the team with the most points on the year. Well, they are now in position to do so again. The Capitals have won 14 of their last 17 games to overtake the Blue Jackets for the league lead in points with 74. They now have a three-point lead over Columbus in the Metro Division and a five point lead over the Penguins. As far as the President’s Cup goes, they have a three point le4ad over the Minnesota Wild. The Caps have been getting great play in the crease of late, but more important for them is the fact that their offense has really come alive of late. The Caps have averaged 4.35 gpg over their last 17 games. Washington has been led this year by Alex Ovechkin, who has 25 goals on the year, while T.J. Oshie is next at 19 and Justin Williams is 3rd with 17.
Braden Holtby may get the call in this one and he has gone 25-12 with a 1.99 GAA on the year, including 16-6 with a 1.76 GAA here at home, while vs the Kings in his career he has gone 1-2 with a 2.33 GAA. Philipp Grubauer may get the nod in this game and he has gone 9-5 with a 2.13 GAA on the year, including 4-0 at home with a 0.82 GAA, while vs the Kings in his career he has gone 1-0 with a 1.00 GAA. The Capitals enter this game ranked 5th in the league in scoring at 3.25 gpg, while also ranking 18th in shots taken (29.7 spg) and 13th in power play conversions, converting on 20.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been very solid as they rank 1st in goals allowed, giving up 2.12 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots allowed (28.3) and 6th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.1% of their chances.
Los Angeles is:
- The Under is 6-0-2 in their last eight road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- The Under is 8-1-1 in their last 10 vs. the Eastern Conference
- The Under is 6-1 in their last seven vs. the Pacific
- The Under is 5-0-2 in their last seven Sunday games
Both of these teams are playing well at the moment, especially in the crease and I look for that to continue here. Both teams are playing on no rest and that could mean tired legs and a slower pace to the game. Whether it is Holtby of Grubauer in the crease for this one, both have been solid at home, while Peter Budaj has been strong for the Kings all year and especially of late as he has allowed just three total goals in his last four games. Both of these goalies should shine in what looks like a 2-1 type game.