Wednesday night was a big test for the Washington Capitals against one of the really good teams in the Western Conference in the Los Angeles Kings. The Caps not only passed it. They aced it. Ironically they also got help from the refs.
All the stars were out. Seth Rogen dropped the ceremonial puck before the game. Will Ferrell was in attendance as well as Caps super fan Pat Sajak.
The Kings struck first with a goal from fourth liner Arthur Kaliyev at 9:04. The Caps would tie it on a nice 2 on 1 rush as Connor McMichael set up Anthony Mantha for his fourth goal of the season. Aliaksei Protas had the secondary assist and the goal came at 12:12.
1-1 was the score after one as the Caps played bad in the first five minutes but kept up with the Kings for the last 15 minutes. The Kings outshot the Caps 11-5 in the first 20 minutes.
Both teams were fighting in the second period but when the period nearly ended it would be the Caps who came away with the goal to take the lead.
Once again it was that third line of Protas, McMichael, and Mantha that did work. The goal came at 18:30. On a near chance that was finished off by Mantha by the net, McMichael came in and batted it in for his fifth goal of the season. Protas had the secondary helper.
That goal gave the Caps a 2-1 lead after two while the Kings had the edge in shots 13-7 in the second period.
In the third period the unthinkable happened. It appeared that Anze Kopitar tied the game but it turned out that he was offsides. No goal. That callback did the Caps wonders as Charlie Lindgren took care of the rest.
The Caps were outshot in the third period 14-3 and 38-15 overall but Lindgren’s 37 saves on the night was a huge difference.
The Caps are back in action tonight in the third game of the five game road trip and the final game of their tour in California. Next up is the Anaheim Ducks with game starting at 10 p.m. eastern on Monumental Sports Network.