FINAL – Kings 3, Capitals 4 – Arvidsson, McLellan

The LA Kings were unable to cap off their first road trip of the season with a win, as they fell to the Washington Capitals by a 4-3 final at Capital One Arena.

Forwards Viktor Arvidsson (1-2-3) and Trevor Moore (0-3-3) each had three points in defeat, while Phillip Danault and Sean Durzi also scored for the Kings.

After a first period that ended 0-0, the Kings opened the scoring early in the second period through Durzi. Some nice work below the goal line saw Arvidsson emerge with the puck rounding the net, where he hit Durzi crashing in from the point for the goal. Durzi’s goal was his first of the season, while Arvidsson picked up his first point of the season with the primary helper.

The second line contributed again later in the period to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage headed into the second intermission. All three members of the line touched the puck, as Moore fed Arvidsson along the wall, who hit Danault at the back post for the goal. Arvidsson and Moore eached picked up multi-point nights with the assists, while Danault’s goal was his third of the season.

Washington flipped the script in the third period with three goals in less than six minutes to take a 3-2 lead.

First, Nic Dowd capitalized on a broken play in the corner, off a clash of sticks, and fired home shortside to get the hosts on the board. Less than 60 seconds later, defenseman John Carlson tied the game at two as he beat Kings netminder Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot from the slot. Forward Lars Eller broke the deadline just shy of nine minutes into the third period. After Blake Lizotte’s helmet was ripped off along the boards, the Capitals took advantage of the brief 5-on-4 as Eller collected a pass from defenseman Dmitry Orlov and snapped home the finish.

The Kings responded, however, as Arvidsson collected his third point of the evening. Moore won a footrace down the left wing, which set up a 2-on-1, on which he hit Arvidsson for the goal, his first of the season. The assist was Moore’s third of the evening, tying a single-game career high.

The Capitals scored the game-winning goal with less than six minutes remaining in regulation to take the 4-3 victory. Washington led a 3-on-3 rush up ice, that ended with forward Marcus Johansson rounding the net and getting the puck to go on a wraparound attempt that went off a Kings skate and in.

The Kings got chances towards the end of the game, especially with the goaltender pulled, but came up empty. The five-game trip ends with a record of 3-2-0.

Hear from Viktor Arvidsson and Todd McLellan following tonight’s game.

Viktor Arvidsson
On what he felt changed between the first 40 minutes and the final 20
I thought we didn’t take care of the puck enough in the third. They’re a good team and you’ve got to be aware in all situations. Not good enough.

On what he saw from the group in the first 40 minutes defensively
Yeah, I thought we were good in front of our net, in the first two periods we really limited their chances and had good sticks. Then, they hurt us in the third.

On getting three points and getting rewarded for the work he’s put in
Yeah, I think I’ve been playing better and better every game. I thought in the Nashville game I felt good and that carried over. I think I’ve been playing pretty well on this trip, better and better, and I got rewarded for it tonight. I’m more comfortable with the puck, making plays and we’re starting to get our groove back, me, Phil and Mooresy. We’re starting to feel better.

On if he felt tonight was the best game this season for his line
Yeah, I think so. I thought we were good offensively in the Pittsburgh game, but a little bit weak defensively, the game got away from us. Yeah, I think it was a good game [for our line] and we got rewarded.

Todd McLellan
On what he felt changed between the first 40 minutes and the final 20
Well, I’m not sure that we were that good in the first 40 either. There were some chances, but there were fewer. It was a dead game and what I mean by that is not a lot going on either way. We got fortunate we scored a couple goals, got the lead. In the third, they got rolling, obviously got some momentum. I thought when we when we eventually scored to tie the game again, you could kind of feel it going our way a bit, but it didn’t work, so that’s kind of a summary of the third.

On the goals against tonight and if he saw any trends in goal that came quickly
They’re all different game situations. You take the last one, it’s off Clarkey’s foot and goes in, the third one I think we were unfortunate, we caught a bad break because Lizzo loses his helmet and that’s exactly where the pass went. Good teams make you pay for those, not sure if I call them mistakes, but lucky bounces. That was the case tonight.

On Viktor Arvidsson tonight and the play of he and his line
I thought that line was very good for us tonight. They did a lot of things well defensively that led to offensive chances, so it’s a good sign that Arvy is getting a little more polish in his game. It’s been a long time since he played in intense games like this. They were fine, I think Phil Danault is really starting to come around, Moorsy looks good, so we’ve got that line going.

On if he feels the team ran out of gas at all in the third period
Potentially, but they’ve played some games too, they’ve been traveling around. We took a different approach yesterday to have that gas in the tank. It’s taxing at the beginning of the year, you’re not used to the games coming quickly and spending eight or nine days on the road but certainly not excuse for giving up what we’ve given up, 23, on the road. If we left LA last Friday and somebody would have told me we would score 20 goals on this road trip I’d be pretty darn excited about winning a lot of games.

Notes –
– Forward Viktor Arvidsson collected his first points of the season this evening, as he tallied a goal and two assists in the loss.
– Forward Trevor Moore tied an NHL career high with three assists tonight, equalizing his mark from January 1, 2022 vs. Philadelphia.
– Forward Phillip Danault collected his third goal of the season tonight, while defenseman Sean Durzi scored his first.
– Arvidsson, Danault and Moore were all +3 in the game.
– The quaurtet of Moore, Durzi, Carl Grundstron and Matt Roy led the Kings with three shots on goal apiece.
– The Kings conclude their first trip of the season with a record of 3-2-0. No team in the league has more road wins this season than LA.

The Kings are scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles this evening and will have an off day tomorrow. The team is scheduled to return to the ice for practice on Monday at 11 AM at Toyota Sports Performance Center.

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