The Capitals saw their four-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night while the Kings watched their own streak come to an end on Saturday after reeling off seven consecutive victories.
Let’s see which team gets back on track as we analyze this Wednesday night showdown and keep cashing our NHL picks!
Washington Capitals vs. Los Angeles Kings
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 – 10:30 PM EST at Staples Center
The Capitals skated into Anaheim with a four-game winning streak on the line and skated out with a 3-2 overtime loss. Washington never had a lead throughout the game but Garrett Pilon tied the score at one apiece early in the third period. The Ducks would go ahead before Tom Wilson notched his fifth goal of the season with assists from John Carlson and Martin Fehervary, knotting the game at two, with less than three minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Caps, that is as close as they would get as Trevor Zegras would score his second consecutive game-winning overtime goal and ice a 3-2 win for Anaheim. Everything from the score to the shots on net (Anaheim 31 vs. Washington 30) to hits (Anaheim 23 vs. Washington 22) to blocked shots (Anaheim 15 vs. Washington 14) was close except the faceoffs won. The Ducks won 35 draws compared to only 17 for the Caps.
“I mean the loss is tough. First period wasn’t great, second period was similar, and I thought the third period was really good,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “I thought we got it down in the offensive zone and generated a lot of offense, ended up getting it into overtime. And then we didn’t score. It's just frustrating.”
Kings Winning Streak Jettisoned by the Jets
After dropping six straight games the Kings righted their ship by winning seven straight. But that streak ended on Saturday when the Jets secured a 3-2 overtime win over their guests from LA. Carl Grundstrom tallied his third goal of the season while Brendan Lemieux put LA ahead, 2-1, with his second goal of the year. But from there, it was all Winnipeg as the Jets tied the game midway through the third frame and scored the game-winner in overtime.
The Jets played a more physical game but the Kings outshot their hosts, 29-23, with Cal Peterson patrolling the crease and saving 20 of those 23 shots. The Kings have been platooning Peterson and Jonathan Quick throughout much of the year. Quick has been the more effective of the two netminders as evidenced by his 1.98 versus Petersen’s 2.84 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage compared to Petersen’s .902.
Los Angeles winger, Brendan Lemieux, spent 53 games with the Jets in his first two seasons in the league and commented, "Lot of friends over there. Any time you go into the third period up and you don’t come out with two points, it (is terrible). It feels like a loss but, in the grand scheme of things, we definitely see this trip as a win."
And indeed, it was a successful road trip as the Kings defeated the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, and Senators before falling to the Jets on Saturday.
Wanna Make a Bet?
It is no secret that both teams are streaky but this is a good spot for the Kings as they have had since Saturday to rest and prepare for this game against the Capitals. Meanwhile, Washington has to be gassed after playing deep into overtime before losing last night in Anaheim and then having to make the hour drive to LA late at night. It’s a simple equation of well-rested versus worn-out.
These teams have not met this season but I like the fact that Jonathan Quick is more than likely tending the twine for LA in this one. He has been terrific between the pipes this season and what makes this matchup even better is that Washington’s backup goalie, Ilya Samsonov, should start after the first-stringer, Vitek Vanecek, played last night.
We know the Capitals offense can be explosive but I am siding with a solid defensive effort from the Kings to slow down what should be an exhausted Caps crew as they roll into the Staples Center on Wednesday night. The NHL odds at all of the best online sportsbooks are dealing this game as a pick’em which means the price is right for a bet on the Kings.
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