Look of a champion: Kings try to stay hot vs. Capitals

( - Suddenly the Los Angeles Kings look like the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The playoff-hopeful Kings hope to record their longest winning streak since the start of the season on Saturday night when they host the Washington Capitals.

Los Angeles has won two of the past three Stanley Cup championships, but are just on the outside of the playoff picture at three points back of a wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Things seemed much worse only recently as the Kings lost 10 of 12 before their current three-game winning streak. Thursday's 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames gave Los Angeles three straight victories for the first time since Nov. 15-20 and the club will look to record its first four-game run since a season-high six-game win streak from Oct. 12-26.

Tyler Toffoli's first career hat trick helped fuel the win over the Flames and upped his team-leading goal total to 18. Jeff Carter assisted on three goals to surpass 500 career points and Dwight King added a goal and an assist to the win.

Jordan Nolan scored and Jonathan Quick made 15 saves.

"It felt like we controlled the play a lot. We hung onto it in their end, made plays," said Carter. "The difference tonight was we capitalized on our chances. It's a good win. It's a big win for us."

The Capitals could use some big wins as the wild card holders are just one point behind the New York Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Washington kept pace with Wednesday's 5-4 overtime victory against the San Jose Sharks that began a four-game road trip.

The clubs went back-and-forth for most of the game, with the Sharks forcing overtime on Joe Thornton's tally with 5:31 on the clock. However, Joel Ward secured the victory for the Capitals when he scored on a rebound with 2:18 left in the extra frame.

Jay Beagle posted two goals and an assist, John Carlson had a goal and an assist and Troy Brouwer also lit the lamp for the Capitals, who have won four of their last five games. Braden Holtby made 26 saves in net.

"We wanted to start the road trip off with a win," said Ward. "We showed some resiliency and fought back."

Carlson set a new career high with 38 points this season.

The Capitals, who visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, had lost seven in a row to the Kings before securing a 4-0 victory at home on Feb. 3. Holtby made 27 saves to record the shutout in his first career start against the club.

Brouwer had two goals for the winning team.

Quick, meanwhile, lost for the first time versus the Capitals after allowing four goals on 27 shots. He fell to 4-1-0 in this matchup with a 2.71 goals against average and .905 save percentage in five meetings.

Los Angeles has still won four in a row at home against Washington.