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Doughty braces for a challenge with Ovechkin as the Kings take on the Capitals

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But there’s one thing the Los Angeles Kings defense isn’t looking forward to when they take on Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSWA, BSW, ESPN+, SN NOW).

“I never look forward to blocking his shots,” Doughty said Friday.

Third in NHL history with 782 goals, Ovechkin is known for his powerful slap shots and one-time power plays for the Capitals. In his 19 regular-season games against Washington, Doughty led Los Angeles in his 31-block shots, including Ovechkin’s eight, according to NHL Stats and Information. rice field.

However, Doughty did not appear in any of the Kings’ games against the Capitals last season, missing the 2–0 home loss on November 17 due to a knee bruise, and on December 19, he missed the 2–0 home loss. 3-2 win over Washington while attending NHL COVID. -19 protocol. The Kings and Capitals did not play each other in his 2020-21 season when the teams were limited to intra-division games.

Therefore, this will be Doughty’s first fight against Ovechkin in over two and a half years.

“It was so nostalgic,” Doughty said. “Last year I got hurt so I missed a lot about playing. I definitely missed playing with Ovi. We have good competitiveness with each other.. I know how hard you work for , and you love scoring goals.

“So we obviously clash in that situation and we are determined to beat each other.”

Doughty, who won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 2015-16, racked up 570 points (133 goals, 437 assists) in 1,020 regular-season games during 15 NHL seasons. He has the ability to generate offense. But he’s also a tenacious defender who enjoys playing against top forwards.

“I know he likes to score,” Kings coach Todd McClellan said. “But I think he enjoys competing and really enjoys doing his best.”

A right-handed hitter defense who plays on the right, Doughty often faces Ovechkin on the left. In the final game on February 4, 2020, Los Angeles led with his 2–1 lead, with Ovechkin scoring his three points in his final 6:10 to give Washington his 4–2 victory. I was. Doughty was on the ice for his last two goals for Ovechkin.

Ovechkin has 18 points (11 goals, 7 assists) in 19 games with the Kings when Doughty was in the lineup. Weirdly, the 37-year-old failed to pick up a single point in either game against Los Angeles last season when Doughty was absent.

Still, Ovechkin finished the season with 50 goals, tying an NHL record for his ninth 50-goal season and scoring 90 points.

5 goals (2 goals, 3 assists) in 5 games this season.

“He doesn’t look old,” Doughty said. But we know we have to do it to win the match, so we do our best. We keep him off the scoresheet and try to get him out of the game. can.

“But it’s going to be a tough job. They’re a good team and he’s a great, great player. The league wouldn’t be the same without him.”

The Kings weren’t the same without Doughty last season when injuries and illness limited him to 39 regular season games. , which included the Kings losing seven games to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs due to a wrist injury that required surgery.

Despite missing more than half the game, Doughty led the Kings defense with 31 points (7 goals, 24 assists) and led all skaters in ice time with an average of 25:44. Doughty is back this season with plenty of minutes on ice, with him leading the NHL in average ice time of 27:19, and in six games he has scored 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists). I’m here.

“He means the world to our team,” McClellan said. ”He’s playing with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement.

Doughty admitted it was bittersweet to see the Kings make the playoffs last season for the first time since 2018. I am determined to help

“I was excited to see it. I was into the game, but obviously I wanted to be there,” Doughty said. “I haven’t played playoff hockey in a while, but I loved playing then and it was a huge pressure situation. Yeah, I wish I was playing, but what can I do? Better than last year.”

For now, the Kings (3-3-0) will rebound from Thursday’s 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and close out a five-game road trip that is 3-1-0 so far. Concentrated. But they know it won’t be easy against the Capitals (2-3-0), whom he lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

“If you get four out of five, I think it’s a great road trip. It’s a really good road trip,” said Doughty. “But we’re not looking forward to going home right now. We have a big game against Washington and we didn’t perform well in the previous game, so we either come out hot or that’s the plan anyway. , and have a really good game.”