Los Angeles (33-19-3) at Washington (40-10-4)
When: Tuesday, February 16th 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: FSN West, CSMA
Two division leaders will clash on Tuesday night as the Washington Capitals host the Los Angeles Kings. Washington’s five-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday in a 4-3 loss at Dallas. The top-ranked offense in the NHL (3.3 goals a game) have scored three or more in six straight games. Captain Alex Ovechkin has scored in four straight games and has 18 goals in his last 19 contests including seven power-play goals. Veteran center Mike Richards faces his former team for the first time since a messy departure with the Capitals. Richards helped the Kings capture two Stanley Cups during his four years in L.A. before a combination of limited production and an arrest at the Canadian border for possession of a controlled substance led to the club terminating the remaining five years and $22 million of his contract. While Richards has yet to record a point with Washington, fellow former King Justin Williams has scored two goals in his last three games to raise his total to 18 – matching last season’s mark with Los Angeles. The Capitals have the number one power-play in the league (24.4%) and have scored at least one in three straight games after going 0-for-17 in the previous five.
The Kings have alternated wins and losses in eight straight games and are in the middle of a season-long seven game road trip. The journey started off with a bang and a 9-2 thrashing of Boston last Tuesday. They have scored 14 goals in the two road wins, but only three in the two losses on the trip. The offense came up completely empty on Sunday in a 1-0 loss at New Jersey. Tyler Toffoli has scored a goal and set up four others during the last five games and leads the Kings with 23 goals and a +26 rating. Jhonas Enroth will probably get the start again in place of the injured Jonathan Quick. Enroth allowed just the one goal on Sunday, but faced just 18 shots. He was hit for four goals on 29 shots the previous game against the Islanders. Enroth is 2-0-3 with a 2.91 goals-against average lifetime versus the Capitals. The Kings are second to Washington on the power-play this season (23.1%) and 10th at killing penalties (81.6%), but have surrendered a power-play goal in each of their last five games. Los Angeles will finish up their long road trip on Saturday at Nashville with a date in St. Louis before that on Thursday.
The Capitals power-play seems to be clicking again and Washington has a big advantage in the net tonight. I think the Capitals get four goals tonight and win easily.
Pick: Capitals -1.5 +235