Pregame #56: Washington Capitals vs. Los Angeles Kings

Washington Capitals (29-16-10) vs. Los Angeles Kings (29-22-3)
Verizon Center
Time: 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, 9:30 AM Pacific Standard Time
Television:  Comcast SportsNet (HD) (Game On!),  Away: FS-W (HD)
Radio: XM, 1500AM, 820AM
Family FeudDwayne “DJ” King‘s brother Dwight King has played 6 games for the Kings this season.
Familiar Faces of Former Caps:
Head Coach Terry Murray (Caps Defenseman 1981-82, Asst. Coach 1983-88, Head Coach 1989-94)
Goalie Coach Bill Ranford (Caps Goalie 1997-98)
Former Kings:
Dave Steckel (2001 Draft Pick)
The Enemy:
Our Bloguin Partner:  The Royal Half
Sports Haze Los Angeles
Jewels From the Crown

The Capitals will face a hungry young hockey team on Saturday afternoon.  The Los Angeles Kings may sit in last place in the Pacific Division, but they are by no means out of the playoff race.  Even with the loss on in overtime on Thursday night in Pittsburgh, the Kings are 5-0-2 in their last 7 games.  Fortunately for the Caps, they will have a true home-ice advantage thanks to a scheduling quirk, as it will feel like a 9:30 am start for the West Coast visitors. 

Injury Report – Update: The Capitals will be without RW Eric Fehr (shoulder) and D Tom Poti (groin).  The Kings expect to be without LW Scott Parse (hip surgery); LW Marco Sturm (knee tendonitis) is questionable.

New:  D Mike Green (head) is probable (CI). Mike Vogel weighs in on this on Dump ‘n Chase.

The King

The King Says to Read On!

Things to watch for:

Pining For Green:  Mike Green‘s head injury kept him out of Tuesday’s game, and his absence showed.  The Capitals could not muster any goals against the Sharks without their main offensive catalyst, even with the return of their powerplay wizard, Alex Semin (or rather, “Syomin“).  If Mike Green plays, he will have a huge impact on how well the Caps’s offense, including the powerplay, is able to produce.  

Avoid Quick Sand:  Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is 5-0-1 in his last 6 games with a 1.76 GAA, a .938 save percentage, and a shutout.  He has been carrying the mail for the team this year, sitting 7th in hte NHL with 24 wins, 4th in GAA (2.13) and shutouts (5).  The Caps are hardly better off against his backup, Jonathan Bernier, who posted a shutout in his last game.  Whoever they face, the Capitals will have to be sure they crash the net and get traffic in front of the Kings’ goalie to make life difficult for him.

Anze the Giant:  (Pronounced “Ahn-Jay”)  Highly skilled Kings center Anze Kopitar is pacing the club with 34 assists and 50 points this season.  The 23-year old Slovenian is anchoring the Kings’ top line with team captain Dustin Brown and a revolving door of other wingers.  Kopitar is mired in a massive scoring slump, with no goals in his last 10 games and just 1 goal in his last 20.  If the Capitals can keep the Kings’ top line off the scoreboard, they will have an excellent chance of winning the game, as the Penguins did on Thursday. 

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