Capitals chase Budaj, end Kings’ winning streak in rout


Entering play on Sunday Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj had allowed just two goals in his previous four starts, a stretch that included three shutouts and a 140-plus minute shutout streak entering their game in Washington.

On Sunday, he didn’t even make it to the third period.

He was replaced by backup Jeff Zatkoff after giving up four goals only 13 shots in what would go on to be a 5-0 Kings loss to the Capitals.

Along with ending Budaj’s shutout streak (which ended up reaching 147 total minutes) the loss also snapped the Kings’ winning streak at five games.

It ended up being a strange day for the Kings because while they did a good job limiting the Capitals to only 19 shots on goal, they had several glaring defensive breakdowns that resulted in Capitals goals that left both Kings goaltenders with little chance. That was certainly the case on Lars Eller‘s goal to open the scoring early in the first period and again later in the game when former Kings forward Justin Williams was left wide open in front of Zatkoff.

The Capitals also received goals from Marcus Johansson, Brett Connolly and a T.J. Oshie goalie that destroyed Budaj’s water bottle.

Alex Ovechkin, who was honored before the game for recording his 1,000th career point earlier this season (ceremony featured in the video here), played 18 minutes, recorded an assist and four shots on goal.

With Braden Holtby getting the day off the Capitals turned to backup goalie Philipp Grubauer who stopped all 38 shots he faced to record his third shutout of the season.

The 38 saves are a season high for him.

The win is the Capitals’ ninth in a row on home ice and extends their lead in the Metropolitan Division to seven points over the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. It also gives them a five-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for the best record in the NHL as they are once again on track to win the Presidents’ Trophy.