- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 30, 2017

Nine seconds.

Nine seconds was all the time it took for the Los Angeles Kings to spoil the Capitals’ opening of a five-game homestand Thursday, all the time needed to score two goals on back-to-back shifts in a 5-2 win at Capital One Arena.

The goals were sudden and surprising.

In the second period, Kings forward Jonny Brodzinski scored off shortly after the Capitals committed a turnover in their own defensive zone. Goaltender Braden Holtby overshot a pass to Dmitry Orlov and MacDermid fired from the top of the key to tie the game at 2.

On the next face-off, the Kings recovered and found forward Jussi Jokinen in space — who beat Holtby on a backhand move.

Before the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz praised the Kings for being one of the best defensive teams in the NHL, saying they had to bring their A-game “for sure.” Overall, the consistency wasn’t there as the Kings forced bad turnovers.

When Trotz mixed up his lines last week, his goal was to get more production out of his top six forwards. The move reunited Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, but also provided a spark for Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Alongside T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana, Kuznetsov’s been able to find enough space to be the playmaker the Capitals envisioned when they signed him to an eight-year, $62.4 million contract extension in the offseason.

Kuznetsov scored both of the Capitals’ goals, first putting Washington on the board after converting on a breakaway with an excellent pass from Orlov. The Capitals took a lead just four minutes into the game.

But it didn’t last for long. Holtby lost track of the puck and Kings forward Marian Gaborik was there for a goal off the rebound, which also seemed to deflect off Capitals forward Tyler Graovac.

Kuznetsov, though, answered for the Capitals again.

Shortly into the second period, Kuznetsov raced down the ice and delivered a perfect pass to linemate Jakub Vrana in front of the net. Vrana, though, couldn’t place it and the puck went back in transition.

After another Kings turnover, Kuznetsov soon faced the same scenario again. But the 25-year-old forward reversed course — this time keeping the puck and firing one past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick for his eighth goal of the season.

In the third period, Washington failed to convert on a power play. They sent an extra attacker with under 1:30 to go, but the extra man didn’t help. The Kings added a fourth goal with 42.1 seconds left on an Gaborik empty netter.

The Kings scored another empty netter with three seconds remaining.

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