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Capitals vs. Kings Recap: Washington Scores Three 2nd Period Goals, Kuznetsov Strikes Twice In 6-4 Victory

In the final game of a six-game homestand, Washington outlasted Los Angeles in a back-and-forth affair

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals closed out the final game of a long homestand with three second period goals to knock off the Kings. Despite a bevy of silly penalties, Washington played from behind and came away with the victory.

The Capitals closed out the final game of a long homestand with three second period goals to knock off the Kings. Despite a bevy of silly penalties, Washington played from behind and came away with the 6-4 victory.

Here’s Monday night’s Plus/Minus:

Minus: Dumb penalties continue to hamper the Capitals as they took three hooking minors in the first period alone, bringing their total to eight in the home swing. This season they have taken 210 minor penalties -- most in the NHL.

Plus: In case you forgot...

And now, this…

Ten more notes on the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin ended a four-game scoring drought against the league’s second worst penalty kill for his 38th of the season, and improved to 15 points (six goals and nine assists) in his 18th career game against the Kings. This also marked the eighth straight games for Ovi. With the goal, The Great Eight drew even with Rod Brind’Amour for the 48th most points in NHL history (1,184 points).

You know who he did it for...

The lead wouldn’t last long as the Kings responded a little over a minute later at even strength as Derek Forbort put the puck to the doorstep and Austin Wagner, who was in the lineup because Nate Thompson was dealt to Montreal this afternoon, deposited it behind Pheonix Copley to even the score.

2. Brett Connolly continued his hot streak with 4:43 remaining in the 1st -- after his second career three-point game against the Panthers, Connolly pounced on his own rebound for some top-cheese. Conno now has 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) which surpasses his career high (27 points in 2017-18.) While he rarely gets the full attention he deserves due to the stars on this roster, Since joining the Capitals in 2016-17, Connolly lone player in the NHL who has who has accumulated at least 80 points (43 goals and 37 assists) and has averaged less than 13 minutes a game (he gets a hair over 12 per contest.)

Regrettably, Tyler Toffoli’s power-play marker came 2:05 later to bring the scoring even at two-apiece.

3. Oscar Fantenberg capped off what felt like the world’s longest offensive zone time for the Kings to give Los Angeles their first lead of the game three minutes into the 2nd period. It was the second goal of the season for Fentenberg who lit the lamp just two days ago against Boston for the first time in his 40th game.

It was a miserable sequence for the defense, and Copley did everything he could moving laterally in net before the Kings found the twine.

4. Evegny Kuznetsov remained hot as he drew the two squads back even with his ninth point in his last four games and his 13th of the season. After struggling with injuries and consistency in the first half of the season, Kuzy is now +6 following the All-Star break.

5. This was a game of scoring in bursts as Chrstian Djoos scored on a wacky one-handed poke-check goal to give the good guys the 4-3 advantage. It was the first goal for Djoos in 62 games, with his last goal coming on December 30, 2017 against the Devils. Djoos has played in just 29 games this season after having missed 21 games due to injury.

Moments later [boozy Joe B voice] Jakub Vrana collected in a tricky no-look pass from Michal Kempny, that froze Jonathan Quick, and Vraaanaaa gave the Caps a two-goal lead. The goal was the Czech’s 17th of the campaign and his 33rd point of the season, both of which register career highs.

6. The Capitals three goals in the second period continued the Caps’ trend of strong middle frames. The markers from Kuznetsov, Djoos, and Vrana improved the team’s total of 74 goals in the second period this year, vaulting them into first place ahead of the Penguins (72) in the NHL. When leading after two periods has been a sign of good things to come for D.C. as they are now now 24-3-1 this season when they head to the third with a lead.

7. The fourth line picked up their goal of the game once again from Wagner on the doorstep. Whereas the second periods have been Washington’s forte, this season they’re now being out-scored 65-52 in the final period of regulation.

8. Just when the air got a little bit thinner in the building (and in my living room) Kuznetzov showed world-class patience to force Quick to ground and beat him up high to give the Caps’ a little more breathing room at 6-4. It was the second of the night for Kuzya and his 14th of the season. He’s been on an absolute tear with six goals and six assists in on their homestand.

9. Washington has now tallied three goals in eight of their last nine games, and has reached the three-goal mark 40 times this year. On the season, the Capitals have a 29-6-5 record when they get three or more.

10. The Capitals spent a lot of time in their own defensive zone -- a lot of that time was to their detriment but it did give them an opportunity to show off some more strong shot-blocking they have put on display this year. On the evening they tallied 23 blocked shots. This season, the Capitals rank second in the NHL with 868 blocked shots and hold a 13-2-1 record this year when they block at least 19 shots.

It was far from Washington’s most consistent game, and at times the result seemed very much in doubt (even when they were leading) but on nights when the goaltending is far from at it’s best, and the whistles are blow to send the Capitals’ on the penalty kill, it is truly a blessing to have a player like Evgeny Kuznetzov who can seemingly will the team to victory.

Washington closed out their homestand with a 4-1-1 record, but there’s no rest for the weary as they take the ice again tomorrow at Columbus in the first of six straight on the road, beginning a stretch of 12 of their next 16 games away from Capital One Arena. It will be the longest road swing for the team in over a decade. Remember this one Caps fans, it’s going to be a while before you see the boys in Red again!