- CSNwashington.com - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

If there are such things as thrillingly ugly points this time of year, the Capitals produced one Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Thrilling? That’s when Evgeny Kuznetsov scores is first NHL goal while shorthanded with 41.5 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Ugly? That’s when you cough up a 3-1 lead in the third period and squander a very precious point.

“We got a little content with the lead and maybe that’s indicative of a young team,” said Capitals left wing Dustin Penner, who gave the Caps their 3-1 lead late in the second period.

The shootout loss – Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter scored on their shots and Kuznetsov and Eric Fehr were denied by Jonathan Quick on theirs – leaves the Capitals locked in a four-way tie for the final two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Caps and Maple Leafs each have 80 points with nine games remaining. The Blue Jackets and Red Wings each have 80 points with 10 games remaining.

“It hurts a lot,” Marcus Johansson said of the blown two points. “You never know when it comes down to it – in or out of the playoffs by one point. Hopefully, it doesn’t come down to that.”

The shootout loss may also have been costly.

Caps center Nicklas Backstrom left the game in the second period after being checked into the glass by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, and defenseman Jack Hillen was knocked out of the game 2:22 into overtime when he did a face-plant into Alex Ovechkin’s chest.

“I lost my breathing,” Ovechkin said. “I didn’t see him. I just turned and he came to me. There was nothing I could do.”

Hillen and Ovechkin narrowly missed each other earlier in the same shift.

The Capitals will get a full day to heal up on Wednesday, then hit the ice for practice on Thursday. They play their next game Saturday afternoon against the NHL’s hottest team, the Boston Bruins.