Capitals Vs. KIngs: Caps' California Nightmare Ends In 5-2 Loss To Kings

Washington's rough two-game road trip through California came to an end Monday in a 5-2 loss to Los Angeles.

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Capitals Vs. Kings: Caps' California Nightmare Ends In 5-2 Loss To Kings

The Mamas & The Papas had a popular song entitled "California Dreamin'." The Washington Capitals' remix is entitled "California Nightmare."

After scoring the first goal of the game, the Caps allowed five unanswered goals as the Los Angeles Kings sent them home with a 0-2 record on their two-game California road trip and a 5-2 loss.

Marcus Johansson scored the first of his two goals just over a minute into the game, but the Kings responded with two in the first period, two in the second period and one more in the third before Johansson stopped the proverbial bleeding with his second of the game.

Five different players scored for Los Angeles, who had more goals through 40 minutes (four) than in their previous three games combined (three).

The Caps lost to the San Jose Sharks by an identical 5-2 score Saturday. Washington is 18-41-7 lifetime on the road against the Sharks and Kings.

Washington returns home Wednesday to start a four-game homestand against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Capitals Vs. Kings: Two More Goals Gives Kings 4-1 Lead

The Washington Capitals find themselves in a 4-1 hole entering the third period after allowing two more goals to the Los Angeles in the second period.

Jack Johnson's sixth goal of the season pushed the Kings' advantage to 3-1. The puck bounced free along the boards in the Caps' offensive zone as Roman Hamrlik and Joel Ward collided. Kyle Clifford corralled the loose puck as the Kings manufactured a 3-on-1 break. Clifford passed to the late man, Johnson, who squared up and fired a wrist shot past Tomas Vokoun at 3:01. After the goal, Johnson paid tribute to the Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow by celebrating with Tebow's iconic pose.

Jarret Stoll extended the KIngs' lead to 4-1 at 16:27 when he cashed in Dustin Penner's rebound during a scrum in front of Vokoun. Through 40 minutes, Los Angeles has more goals against Washington than it did in its previous three games combined.

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Capitals Vs. Kings: Late Goal Has Kings On Top With 2-1 Lead Over Caps

The first 20 minutes of the Washington Capitals' trip to Hollywood started off as a fairy tale, but ended as a nightmare.

Washington's 1-0 lead did not stand up as the Los Angeles Kings scored two unanswered goals in the final 10 minutes to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Marcus Johansson opened the scoring just 1:34 into the game. Mike Knuble started the rush off a blocked shot in the defensive zone and fed Johansson has he cut down center ice. This set up a 2-on-1 between Johansson and Knuble, but the former elected to shoot instead of pass and his low wrist shot beat Jonathan Bernier for his eighth goal of the season. It was Johansson's first goal since December 28 and Washington's first road first period goal since December 5.

Kyle Clifford, however, did not give the Caps much time to hold onto that moral victory when he tied the game at 1-1 about 10 minutes later. Tomas Vokoun stopped Trent Hunter's shot, but allowed a big rebound, which Clifford controlled and slid past Vokoun with a backhand for his second goal of the season at 11:41.

Anze Kopitar gave Los Angeles the lead right before the buzzer at 19:26. Dustin Brown used a lift check to swipe the puck from Brooks Laich as the latter attempted to clear the zone. Brown then simply turned around and fed Kopitar for the easy tip-in goal. It was Kopitar's 12th goal of the season.

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Capitals Vs. Kings: Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green Return To Washington Early, Will Not Play Monday

Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom and defenseman Mike Green left the team's road trip early, heading back to Washington before Monday's game against the Los Angeles Kings, according to The Washington Post's Katie Carrera.

General Manager George McPhee said that neither Backstrom nor Green were going to play against the Kings, so the team decided to send them home early. Backstrom missed Saturday's 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks with a head injury sustained Tuesday in Washington's 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Backstrom received an elbow to the head from Rene Bourque and left Tuesday's game late in the third period, but practiced Thursday and Friday, providing both him and Dale Hunter with some cautious optimism. Yet, Backstrom has not skated since.

Meanwhile, Green did not play in the third period Saturday after experiencing some tightness in his groin. Green will now have missed 24 of the Caps' last 26 games with a strained right groin muscle. He returned Tuesday against the Flames.

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Capitals Vs. KIngs: Washington Caps Off California Trip In Tinseltown

The Caps finish their two-game road trip looking for a Hollywood ending against the Kings Monday in Los Angeles.

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