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Caps swamp Kings behind little-used goalie

WASHINGTON — Philipp Grubauer starts rarely enough that he doesn't want to show his face when he loses. He can show it plenty until his next chance.

Grubauer, the backup to Capitals No. 1 goalie Braden Holtby, stopped a season-high 38 shots to shut out the Kings 5-0 Sunday and end Peter Budaj's shutout streak.

Washington snapped Los Angeles' winning streak at five and Budaj's shutout streak at 147 minutes, 21 seconds in winning its third game in a row.

Despite being outshot 38-20, the Capitals were opportunistic in shelling Budaj, limiting quality chances and relying on Grubauer to make the routine saves.

"He doesn't get in there all the time, but when he does he's just been really good," said wing Brett Connolly, who scored his 10th goal of the season. "There was a couple times we turned the puck over and (the Kings) had a good chance in front, and he was there to bail us out."

Budaj, who leads the league with seven shutouts, was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots in two periods. He had stopped all 39 shots in his past two starts, but this loss was more on the Kings' defensive miscues than their goaltender.

"When you don't manage the puck well and give (the Capitals) opportunities to score, they're going to score," defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "You give them a little space and they capitalize on that. That's the danger, and we gave them too much space."

Game highlights: Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast scored 3:12 apart in the middle of the third period to help the Rangers beat the Flames 4-3 for their second victory in their past seven games at Madison Square Garden. Flames veteran wing Kris Versteeg was ejected after a third-period fight for not having his jersey properly tied down. Versteeg, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with Chicago and not known as a brawler, tangled with Rangers wing Pavel Buchnevich and got his jersey pulled over his head during the scrap. Under league rules, players must have their jersey tied down. … Leon Draisaitl scored the only goal in a shootout and the Oilers stopped a three-game slide with a 1-0 victory over the Canadiens. Edmonton salvaged the finale of a three-game trip in which they scored only one regulation goal. Al Montoya became the first Canadiens goalie to lose a game in which he had a shutout, Canada's TSN TV network said. In 34 previous times, a Montreal goalie had a shutout but settled for a tie.

Caps swamp Kings behind little-used goalie 02/05/17 [Last modified: Sunday, February 5, 2017 8:08pm]
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