The Los Angeles Kings open a four-game road trip on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena in Washington against the Capitals. Six out of their next seven games will be on the road, with a meeting with the Flames at the Staples Center to break things up next Wednesday in Los Angeles. Playing at home didn’t make much of a difference on Saturday night against a regional rival. The Ducks who are on the road to vacation soon as well, downed the Kings by a score of 3-1 at the Staples Center.
It’s more of the same for the Kings who’ve ran into problems all season, especially most recently. They head into Tuesday with a record of 19-29-5 and 43 points. That’s good for dead last in the Western Conference and two points ahead of the Devils for third last overall in the NHL. It’s been a tough year for the Kings, but it was to be expected, unlike the Devil who were expecting a lot more.
The Kings want to be sellers at the deadline, though shedding some of their big contracts is going to be problematic. There is some talent that could help a contender; however, no one is going to want them with their contracts. The Kings awarded several of their top players because of previous success, but the club is paying for it now with a plethora of aging, expensive veterans that no one is going to want.
It leaves the Kings in a tough spot, as they can try and work out deals for guys like Kyle Clifford and Alec Martinez. Tyler Toffoli is likely the most coveted, realistic trade chip that the Kings have in their stable, but it’s likely going to require a decent haul in return, including a first-round pick for LA to be interested. At this point, it’s about collecting draft picks and getting younger for the Kings.
The Capitals are largely set for the playoffs, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they made a minor move to add depth to their roster. There aren’t many holes to be found, though some extra defence wouldn’t be a bad thing. With Braden Holtby struggling to figure his game out in 2019-20, they haven’t been as great as they’d like to be defensively this season.
Don’t forget about Barry Trotz leaving the Capitals as well. Over the last two years they haven’t been as efficient without Trotz. That said, Alex Ovechkin is still performing at a high level, and their offence can light up a team quickly. Holtby coming around soon in the crease would help a lot, or they will continue to ride with Ilya Samsonov. Head below for our free Kings vs. Capitals pick.
L.A. Kings vs. Washington Capitals Betting Odds:
Kings vs. Capitals Prediction:
Braden Holtby owns a 3.11 GAA and 0.896 save percentage on the season. Conversely, his backup, Ilya Samsonov, has a 2.21 GAA and 0.923 save percentage. Holtby is the guy with all of the experience compared to the 23-year-old, but there was a rookie goaltender who won the Stanley Cup last season, so that might be a bit meaningless. If Holtby doesn’t have it, the Capitals must consider going with Samsonov full-time. In any event, the Kings could be a nice opportunity to boost Holtby’s confidence. The Kings have had a dreadful offence this season, with numbers that are only better than the Red Wings.
The Kings have scored 2.47 goals per game throughout the season, and while they’ve been okay in spots, the Kings have consistently performed around that level. That has them at 30th in the NHL. In their last ten games, they’ve been below average with 2.1 goals potted per contest. The last time the Kings have scored more than 2 goals in regulation was on January 16, five games ago, against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Kings enter Washington with just one win in their last seven games. Don’t expect things to get much better for the Kings, either. They are not a good road team, and have to deal with a lot of road outings coming up. The Kings are just 8-17-4 on the road this season, having scored just 2.34 goals per game, while allowing 3.38 goals a game in the defensive zone.
With Drew Doughty status in doubt this evening, the Kings could be undermanned against on the blueline without the veteran. That doesn’t bode well for a matchup against the Capitals, who’ve scored 3.8 goals per game in their previous ten outings, and 4th in the NHL with 3.58 goals scored per game overall. The Capitals are on a three-game winning streak over the Kings, with a fourth expected tonight. Consider a play on the puckline for a 4-2 or 5-2 Capitals’ win on Tuesday night at the Capital One Arena.