The Capitals will be without forward Nicklas Backstom and defenseman Mike Green tonight, as they flew back to D.C. earlier today with nagging injuries. Kings forward Mike Richards certainly won’t be crying over their absence. He’s played against both guys enough in his career to know the damage they can inflict on their opponents.
In fact, Richards has played more games against the Capitals than his two wingers combined. Left wing Dustin Penner has only seen the Caps four times in his career and right wing Jarret Stoll has faced them five times. You could even add in Anze Kopitar‘s five games and Dustin Brown‘s seven, and you’d still only have 21 games total – not enough to surpass Richards’ 22 regular season games.
However, it was a post-season encounter with the Capitals that was quickly brought up when he was asked about his favorite memory against them. “We (Philly) beat them in game seven in Washington my third year in the league,” recalled Richards. “It was a pretty good series too. We were up 3-1, they came back to tie it 3-3. Then, we ended up winning in overtime against them.”
As for tonight’s game, Richards shared the following outlook – “They’ll be a tough opponent for us. As good as they are offensively, they still play a good defensive system. Obviously with Ovi and Semin, even without Backstrom, they still have a good offensive team. They have three or four guys on the back end who really move the puck well. So, it’s going to be a tough challenge for us and we just have to be good defensively.”