Alex Ovechkin has crammed nearly a third of his scoring into a seven-game stretch, but it isn't translating into much success for the Washington Capitals.
Los Angeles can relate to those struggles, and both teams will try to move past them Tuesday night in Washington as the Kings attempt to extend their winning streak in the series.
Ovechkin has nine goals in his last seven games, including six in his past three at home. The Capitals have gone 1-4-2 and are 4-2-3 in his multigoal efforts this season, which includes Sunday's 4-3 home loss to St. Louis. Nicklas Backstrom added two assists and has 10 points in those seven games.
The problem has been inconsistency at the other end of the ice as Washington (25-15-10) has allowed at least four goals in five of the seven.
"We just make mistakes that cost us the game," Ovechkin told the team's official website. "We didn't execute the power play, we had a bad change when (Blues winger Alexander) Steen scored their second one. You can't do like that. I'm not going to put a finger on someone. We're going to learn from that, and we're going to move forward."
Ovechkin score twice and has 31 goals, making him the fifth player in NHL history to begin a career with 10 30-goal seasons. He's got 15 in his last 15 games after managing 16 through 35.
The last three games have come against Pittsburgh, Montreal and the Blues, and the Capitals now shift their attention to the defending Stanley Cup champions.
"It's a schedule, and you have to be ready for everything," Ovechkin said. "Right now, it is time to play hard every game. Doesn't matter who you play, you have to win."
Los Angeles (21-16-12) is making its second stop on a five-game road trip against the Eastern Conference, and it got off to a poor start with Saturday's 3-1 loss to Boston.
The Kings are in a 1-3-2 rut, and they're in a 1-5-2 road slump with 2.00 goals per game. They're on the outside of the playoff race and readily admit they're checking up on the rest of the West.
"We look at the standings every day," forward Dustin Brown told the team's official website. "If you're not, then I don't know what's wrong with you. But again, there is nothing we can do about it tonight. It's about getting focused for Washington."
That hasn't been a problem in recent years with the Kings winning the last seven meetings with 3.71 goals per game. They're also 7-0-1 with one tie in their last nine in Washington.
Two matchups last season ended in shootout wins, despite two goals and an assist from Ovechkin in a 5-4 road victory in the latest meeting March 25.
Jonathan Quick is 4-0-0 with a 2.41 goals-against average versus the Capitals, but he's struggled on the road this season with a 3-8-5 record and 2.84 GAA.
Counterpart Braden Holtby rested against the Blues after a win over Pittsburgh and an overtime loss in Montreal yielded one goal against and a .982 save percentage.
Holtby, who has never faces Los Angeles, is 8-0-2 with a 1.68 GAA in his last 10 starts at home.