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, DC – DECEMBER 19: Adrian Kempe #9 of the Los Angeles Kings scores the game-winning goal against Vitek Vanecek #41 of the Washington Capitals during the third period of the game at Capital One Arena on December 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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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.

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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.

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