Caps’ shots start landing in time for comeback win over Kings originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
WASHINGTON — For the second time in six games to begin the season, the Capitals overcame a multi-goal deficit to emerge victorious as they beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on Saturday despite trailing 2-0 after two periods.
After the Capitals erased a 4-2 deficit against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, they pulled off another comeback with another Western Conference foe in town. Washington struggled with missed opportunities early, but they honed in just in time to grab the win.
Here are three takeaways from the Capitals’ come-from-behind win over the Kings.
Goalies force a grinder over first two periods
It was a battle of Stanley Cup champions in net Saturday night with Darcy Kuemper (2022 champ with the Colorado Avalanche) and Jonathan Quick (two-time winner) going head-to-head and it looked that way on the scoresheet through the first two periods.
Neither team put a ton of shots on net, totaling just 28 shots between them over the first 20 minutes. Quick was sturdy when called upon, seeing 12 high-danger chances including two on the power play but emerging unscathed.
Kuemper was respectable as well; he allowed two goals that were each the result of some poor play in front of him and some strong passing by Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson (more on him later).
When the second period ended, Quick was pitching a shutout with 15 saves. Then, the Capitals got going.
Capitals’ offense breaks out in third period
The Capitals came out firing with as many shots in the first nine minutes of the period (15) as they had in the entire first two periods. Down 2-0, they didn’t show any signs of giving up. Nic Dowd finally got Washington on the board when a puck shot out of some traffic and he fired it from the left circle to beat Quick on his stick side.
Next it was defenseman John Carlson, who took a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov into the offensive zone and skated up to the left circle before firing a shot that just managed to get through Quick’s glove.
Center Lars Eller then gave the Capitals their first lead of the game, helping the team gain entry past the blue line and scoring it himself to give Washington three unanswered goals all within the first nine minutes of the third period.
Los Angeles tied the game back up on a shot by Arvidsson about 90 seconds later, but the Capitals took the lead back for good when Marcus Johansson snuck a wraparound goal between Quick’s skate and the left post.
Arvidsson generates all the offense for LA
Entering Saturday’s contest, Arvidsson had yet to register a point in five games this season. He finally broke through against the Capitals with a pair of passes that delivered Los Angeles the lead.
He helped get the Kings on the board early in the second period, taking possession of a loose puck behind the net and finding defenseman Sean Durzi in the slot. Kuemper didn’t find the puck in time and Durzi got the shot off quickly enough to just beat the goaltender’s glove.
Later in the period, Arvidsson dug out a puck in the corner and fired a rocket right in front of the crease that found an open Phillip Danault on the other side. Defenseman Nick Jensen and Eller collided just before Arvidsson got the pass off, allowing a clean path for Danault to finish the play.
Arvidsson then gave the Kings some hope with a game-tying goal in the third, finishing off an odd-man rush for his third point of the night.
With the win, the Capitals moved to 3-3 on the season. They’ll look to start a winning streak in their next matchup when they take on the Metropolitan Division rival New Jersey Devils on Monday night.