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Kings are no match for Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov in finale of six-game trip – Daily News

WASHINGTON — Evgeny Kuznetsov took some luster off an otherwise successful six-game trip for the Kings on Monday night, bringing opponents down a notch something the Washington Capitals forward has been doing a lot of since the All-Star break.

Kuznetsov continued his hot streak with two goals and two assists, leading the Capitals to a 6-4 victory over the Kings on Monday night.

The leading scorer in last year’s playoffs, Kuznetsov has six goals and six assists in six games since the All-Star break to help the defending Stanley Cup champions go 4-1-1 on their longest homestand of the season. He had been held to 10 points in his previous 18 games before getting on this roll.

Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 38th goal and had two assists and Brett Connolly, Christian Djoos and Jakub Vrana scored for the Capitals, who overcame another handful of penalties. They were whistled for hooking three times in an eight-minute span in the first period to tie for first in the NHL in minor penalties with 201.

Washington won for the third time in four games because of its offensive outburst and 29 saves from backup goaltender Pheonix Copley, who was making his second start in three games.

It was a rougher night for Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who allowed six goals on 31 shots behind some uneven defense.

“That team scores a lot of goals and they have a deadly power play,” said Kings forward Austin Wagner, who scored twice. “We’ve got to try to stay off it next game, but we have to focus on the next game and take it into the next one.”

Tyler Toffoli and Oscar Fantenberg also scored for the Kings, who went 3-2-1 on their six-game trip and remain eight points out of the final playoff spot in a tight Western Conference race with many teams to pass.

“The challenging part probably isn’t the points, it’s the leapfrogging teams because everyone’s playing each other,” captain Dustin Brown said. “It’s going to come down to a math problem. If we perform well, it still might just come down to a math problem.”

NOTES

Earlier Monday, the Kings traded center Nate Thompson and a 2019 fifth-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for a 2019 fourth-round pick. … Wagner was put in the lineup only after the Thompson trade and registered his first career multi-goal game. … Kings center Jeff Carter missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury. … Kings forward Trevor Lewis played for the first time since Nov. 13 after returning from a lower-body injury. … Djoos’ goal was his first in 62 games dating to Dec. 30, 2017. He missed 24 games with compartment syndrome in his left leg before returning Saturday. … Connolly has scored four goals in four games. … The Capitals have scored three-plus goals in eight of their past nine games.

UP NEXT

Kings: Return home to face the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

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