Kings vs. Capitals Preview

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Washington Capitals have been shut out twice as many times this season as they were in the last two combined, with Alex Ovechkin far off his usual offensive pace.

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The Los Angeles Kings may need to regain their scoring touch if they hope to continue a solid start to their 10-game road trip.

Washington and Los Angeles each look to bounce back after having two-game winning streaks snapped when they face off Saturday.

According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGlobal.com have made the Capitals -139 money line favorites for Saturday's game against the Kings. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 50% of more than 293 bets for this game have been placed on the Capitals -139.

The Capitals (29-16-10) were shut out for the eighth time Tuesday in a 2-0 loss to San Jose after scoring eight goals combined in back-to-back wins over Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. It's the most they've been held scoreless since being blanked 11 times in 1998-99, and they were shut out only four times over the previous two seasons.

Ovechkin went pointless for the fifth time in six games and has 20 goals through 55 games. He had 42 at this point last season and never had less than the 33 from his 2006-07 rookie season through this many games.

Washington has scored two goals or fewer in eight of 12.

"They decided to get cute since they had a little bit of success," coach Bruce Boudreau said of his Capitals after Tuesday's loss. "But (when) you don't stick with the game plan, bad things usually happen."

Getting healthy could boost Washington's offensive attack.

Alexander Semin returned Tuesday after missing 12 games with a groin injury but went without a goal for the 15th straight game, matching the longest drought of his career. Mike Green practiced Thursday and hopes to return after missing Tuesday's game while recovering from taking a puck to the head against Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Green has scored in each of his last two games against Los Angeles, which has started 2-0-2 on its long road trip.

The Kings (29-22-3) fell 2-1 in overtime to undermanned Pittsburgh on Thursday and have been held to one combined goal in their two losses on the trip. Still, Los Angeles has boosted its playoff hopes with a 5-0-2 run after a 2-10-0 stretch from Dec. 29-Jan. 20 made its postseason chances look bleak.

"If you get points in every single game, one point, two points, that's a good road trip," goaltender Jonathan Quick told the league's official website.

Quick made 24 saves and Jarret Stoll netted his 15th goal. However, leading scorer Anze Kopitar has scored only once since Dec. 27 and captain Dustin Brown only twice since Dec. 29.

Though the Kings have not lost in regulation since Jan. 20 to Phoenix, Brown said they can't settle for anything less than victories with the Western Conference playoff race so tight.

"We've got to find ways to get two (points) right now," Brown said.

These teams haven't met since Quick made 26 saves in a 2-1 victory Jan. 2, 2010. The Kings are 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings and 7-1-1 with one tie in the last 10 in D.C.

Washington embarks on a five-game road trip following Saturday's game.

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