Kempe scores winner, Kings rally past undermanned Caps 3-2

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  • Los Angeles Kings
    Los Angeles Kings
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  • Adrian Kempe
    Adrian Kempe
    Swedish ice hockey player

WASHINGTON (AP) — Adrian Kempe scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the undermanned Washington Capitals on Sunday night.

Washington was missing forwards Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Michael Sgarbossa, all on the COVID-19 list. Oshie was placed on the list earlier Sunday, and Sgarbossa was a late scratch.

Garret Sparks, recalled from the minors before the game, stopped 33 shots for his first NHL win since March 20, 2019.

Blake Lizotte scored short-handed and Christian Wolanin also had a goal for the Kings, who trailed by two late in the second period.

Connor McMichael and Justin Schultz each had a goal for Washington.

Kempe’s 12th goal of the season, which fluttered off his stick in front of the net, beat Vitek Vanecek, who made 21 saves.

The Capitals had won their last five games against the Kings.

Washington took the lead at 7:58 of the first on McMichael’s fourth goal, which was assisted by Joe Snively, a native of nearby Virginia who was making his NHL debut.

Schultz’s second goal of the season, his first since opening night, came a second after a four-minute power play expired to give Washington a 2-0 advantage at 13:47 of the second.

Lizotte’s third goal cut Washington's lead to 2-1 at 17:04 of the second.

Wolanin’s first NHL goal since March 14, 2019, at 2:50 of the third tied the score at 2.

NOTES: Washington forward Tom Wilson missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury. He was at Sunday’s morning skate but wore a non-contact jersey. He’s been placed on injured reserve. ... Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway was activated from the COVID-19 list. He assisted on Schultz’s goal. … Linesman Julian Fournier was unavailable for the game, which was officiated by two referees and one linesman. … The Kings placed forward Phillip Danault on the COVID-19 list.

UP NEXT

Kings: Visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. Los Angeles' scheduled home game Wednesday against Edmonton was postponed.

Capitals: Visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Rich Dubroff, The Associated Press

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