Capitals even season record with third period rally against Kings
The Washington Capitals came away from their final home game of October with a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings. It was another game that began slowly for the home side as they fell behind halfway through the game. The Caps would struggle until the final period to mount a successful attack but managed to overcome the deficit. The win brings the Capitals back to .500 for the season.
After a scoreless first period, Los Angeles opened the scoring when Sean Durzi put away a snap shot from the high slot area at 1:26 into the second period. Durzi was the beneficiary of a behind the net pass from Viktor Arvidsson. The Kings then doubled their lead at 15:23 after Phillip Danault tipped in a centering pass from Arvidsson. The Capitals efforts to even the game were frustrated by a stifling Kings defense and timely saves from Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick.
Coach Peter Laviolette tweaked the lineup by reshuffling lines in the third period, entrusting top line centering duties to Dylan Strome. Earlier, he had changed the defensive units featuring a top pairing of Dimitry Orlov with John Carlson. The changes had the desired effect as the newly paired unit figured on all but one of the Caps four goals. Orlov would go on to collect three assists in the game.
The Capitals came out in the third period playing with decided urgency. The comeback began when Nic Dowd scored at 3:11 of the third. John Carlson would then fire a wrister from the left circle that eluded the glove of Quick to tie the game 59 seconds later. Washington gained the lead at 8:59 with a well placed top shelf snapper from Lars Eller. The Kings would manage to briefly tie the game after a slap pass attempt by Carlson was recovered by Trevor Moore who quickly create a 2-on-1 opportunity with Arvidsson. The play ended with Arvidsson tapping the puck behind Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper at 10:31.
With just over five minutes remaining in regulation, T.J. Oshie started a rush and found Orlov streaking up the left wing boards. Orlov quickly gained the zone and found Marcus Johansson. After a quick give and go pass, Johansson circled the net and put away a wraparound goal past Quick to put the Caps ahead for good. The goal capped a furious rally as Washington would put 17 shots at Quick. The Kings proved a stingy but tiring team that was playing their 5th game in 7 days at the end of a long early season road trip. Kuemper would finish the game with 22 saves.
The Capitals will finish October with four games on the road beginning Monday night against the New Jersey Devils. Start time will be 7 pm ET.