Saturday, the San Jose Sharks' third period feeding frenzy earned them a 5-2 victory over Washington. After Joel Ward scored early in the third period to tie the game, the Sharks reeled off three unanswered goals to leave the Caps without a win in San Jose since October 1993. Monday, Washington heads to Staples Center, another building that has been less than kind to them lately; the Caps have not won in Los Angeles since December 2005.
To earn that elusive victory in Tinseltown, the Caps might have to do it without two of their stars. Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green did not practice Sunday. Backstrom, who practiced Thursday and Friday, but did not skate Saturday or Sunday, missed Saturday's game while he continues to feel the effects of the elbow he received from the Calgary Flames' Rene Bourque Tuesday. Meanwhile, Green missed the third period Saturday with tightness in his groin, which caused him to miss 23 consecutive games.
The Kings, like the Caps, are going through the growing pains of settling in with a new coach. Darryl Sutter is 5-1-3 since taking over in Los Angeles and the Kings did not earn a point for the first time under him Saturday in a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Yet, the Kings' offense is anemic at best, having scored a league-worst 85 goals this season along with a 28th-ranked power play.