The Caps played better against the Los Angeles Kings than they did against the Anaheim Ducks two nights ago, but the result was the same: a loss, like usual for the Caps in LA.
Jeff Carter beat Philipp Grubauer after a TJ Oshie turnover to put the Kings up in the first period. Jakub Vrana swatted a puck out of mid-air to tie the game in the second, but Trevor Lewis restored the Kings lead with a rebound score five minutes later. The Caps had some good looks in the third but could not complete the comeback. Instead, Kyle Clifford got an empty-netter.
Kings beat Caps 3-1.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) March 9, 2018
The real story was between the pipes. Philip Grubauer acquitted himself quite well in his first game as interim number-one goalie. The two that beat him came from very close (as you can see on Natural Stat Trick’s heat map). Those are the kinds of shots that have been beating Braden Holtby a lot lately too, and the fact that the Kings got so much action in the paint should temper our enthusiasm for any progress in team defense made since last game.
San Jose this weekend. Should be a fun one.
Headline photo: Andrew D. Bernstein
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