Following a disappointing loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, the New York Rangers responded with hard fought 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Rangers held a 1-0 lead throughout two periods before Kaapo Kakko eventually doubled up the score early in the third period. Igor Shesterkin continues to pickup wins for the Rangers and improved to 5-1-0 in his first six career starts in the NHL.
Greg McKegg (3) - Brett Howden (7) & Ryan Lindgren (5) - 2:23 1st Period
With the Rangers struggling to generate 5-on-5 goals as of late, coming away with the opening goal certainly did wonders for their confidence. Just two minutes into regulation, the Rangers were able to force Jonathan Quick into a costly turnover as he played the puck right to Brett Howden. After collecting the puck, Howden tapped the puck over to Greg McKegg on the far side, and McKegg had the entire net to shoot at. Quick was unable to scramble back to his crease in time, and the Rangers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.
Kaapo Kakko (8) - Filip Chytil (7) & Philip Di Giuseppe (1) - 9:20 3rd Period
After nearly 27 minutes without a goal, the Rangers finally doubled up their lead at the 9:20 mark of the third period. The Rangers’ kid line was able to go in hard on the forecheck, and Filip Chytil was able to make a great centering feed out to Kaapo Kakko in front of the net. Kakko, after going 14 games without registering a goal, finally buried one in the back of the net and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Philip Di Giuseppe also picked up his first point as a Ranger, and started the entire play by getting the puck down low in the corner.
Trevor Moore (4) - Austin Wagner (5) & Blake Lizotte (13) - 10:47 3rd Period
A little over a minute after Kakko’s tally, Los Angeles turned up the pressure almost immediately and pulled back within a goal. Trevor Moore was able to pickup his first goal after being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and picked up his own rebound after his initial pass attempt went awry. Igor Shesterkin made a diving attempt to get back to the far side, but Moore was able to beat him with a shot just under the crossbar.
Artemiy Panarin (28) - Ryan Strome (33) & Jesper Fast (15) - 17:12 3rd Period
The Rangers settled down a bit after allowing their first goal of the game, and Artemiy Panarin snapped his four-game goal-less drought. Panarin created the 2-on-1 chance with a ridiculous deflection out of mid-air and sprung Ryan Strome up the right side of the ice. With plenty of space to work with, Strome shot right off of Jonathan Quick’s pad and generated a rebound right out to Panarin who buried the shot.
Tony DeAngelo (13) ENG - Filip Chytil (8) & Philip Di Giuseppe (2) - 17:49 3rd Period
The Kings pulled their goaltender with a little over two minutes remaining, and Tony DeAngelo immediately iced the game with an empty netter.
Despite giving up 43 shots on goal, the Rangers were able to keep the Kings mostly to the outside and Igor Shesterkin did the rest of the heavy lifting. Kaapo Kakko finally registered a goal and I’m sure that will do wonders for his confidence moving forward. He’s been playing extremely well since returning from the All-Star break so it was nice to see him finally get rewarded. Following tonight’s win over the Kings, the Rangers will head out on the road and begin a three-game road trip starting on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.