As Alex Ovechkin continues to heat up, so do the Washington Capitals.
The Southeast Division-leading Capitals look for a second straight victory when they continue a five-game road trip with their first visit to the Los Angeles Kings in almost three years.
With injuries still keeping leading scorer Alexander Semin (upper-body injury) and veteran Sergei Fedorov (ankle) off the ice, Ovechkin had a goal and three assists in Washington’s 6-4 victory at Anaheim on Wednesday as the Capitals (11-4-3) improved to 1-0-1 on their first of two five-game trips this season. They have not lost in regulation since a 5-0 defeat at Buffalo on Nov. 1, going 6-0-2 in that stretch.
Ovechkin has two goals in his first 11 contests, and will now try to extend his scoring streak to six games. The reigning league MVP has six goals and eight assists during his five-game point streak.
“A guy like Alex Ovechkin probably rubs off on everybody in the league,” Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan said. “He brings out his best every game and brings out the best in everybody around him.”
After posting two goals and one assist in a 6-5 shootout loss at New Jersey on Saturday to open the road swing, Ovechkin had plenty of help in beating Anaheim. Mike Green and Dave Steckel each had a goal and an assist, while Tomas Fleischmann added his seventh goal. Nicklas Backstrom also scored one game after notching a goal and four assists against the Devils.
The Capitals have scored at least one goal in 14 consecutive regulation periods.
“We just tried to play it simple, and that is the key for us,” said Ovechkin, who has no goals and three assists in two career games versus Los Angeles. “We have a lot of skilled guys, and we just have to use our skills.”
Johnson, 5-1-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average, hasn’t played since Nov. 12. He is 2-4-0 with a tie and a 2.71 lifetime GAA versus Los Angeles.
Washington has won its last two meetings with the Kings, including a 4-3 victory at home on Feb. 8, 2007 - the teams’ most recent meeting. The Capitals beat Los Angeles 3-2 on Dec. 14, 2005, in their last visit to Staples Center.
After scoring 14 goals during a four-game winning streak, Los Angeles (7-8-2) has managed only one while dropping its last two contests.
The Kings were limited to 15 shots in the final two periods of a 2-0 loss at Anaheim on Sunday, marking the league-high fourth time they were shut out this season.
“If you don’t score, you don’t win,” said Kings goaltender Erik Ersberg, who made 24 saves. “We gave it our best effort (against Anaheim). It was like this the last game, too. We couldn’t get the puck in the net.”
Los Angeles lost 3-1 to Nashville on Saturday, snapping its three-game winning streak at Staples Center. Michal Handzus has the Kings’ lone goal over the last two games.
Anze Kopitar, the team’s leading scorer with 13 points, has gone three games without a point but had a goal in the Kings’ last meeting with Washington.
Ersberg, 4-3-1 with a 1.95 GAA, could start his eighth straight game ahead of previous No. 1 goalie Jason LaBarbera, who hasn’t gotten the call since Nov. 1. Ersberg has never faced the Capitals.