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Kings explode in third period to beat Capitals 4-1

Feb 12, 2011, 3:22 PM EDT

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Los Angeles Kings v Washington Capitals Getty Images

While I don’t totally buy-in to the concept of a TV telecast “jinxing” a team, such theorists surely got a boost this afternoon. Right after the Capitals’ local crew discussed the fact that the team is among the league’s best at shutting down the competition during the third period, Kings forward Andrei Loktionov scored what would be the game-winning (but far from the last) goal. It’s much like when an NBA game shows a stat that a player hasn’t missed a shot all game, only for that player to shoot an air ball moments later.

Los Angeles 4, Washington 1

Loktionov scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, then Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll scored goals as the Capitals seemed deflated late in the contest. (Anze Kopitar ended up scoring the tying goal in the middle of the second period.)

It looked like Washington might run away with the contest after Alex Ovechkin scored the game’s first goal 1:06 into the game. Yet the Caps seemed pretty flat most of the afternoon, only firing 23 shots on Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, who cruised to his sixth win of the season.

The Kings have been scrapping together quite a run lately, going 6-0-2 in their last eight games. The most impressive part is that they’ve earned points (3-0-2) in the first five of their 10 road games. Los Angeles still remains one point out of the top eight in the West, but they’re in a very good spot to make the playoffs now.

Meanwhile the Capitals have been struggling lately, going 2-3-2 in their last seven games, including a 1-2 mark in their last three home games. They also face a tough run, with a five game road trip beginning against the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.

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