The Rangers continued their tour of the west coast Tuesday night with a matchup against the Los Angeles Kings. Despite a sluggish start, they managed to win their second game in a row, this one by a score of 5-3.
The Kings jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 35 seconds into the game. The Kings dumped the puck in the Rangers zone, and it appeared Igor Shesterkin and K’Andre Miller expected an icing to be called. But there was no such call, and Miller turned over the puck with a weak pass along the boards that led to a shot by Adrian Kempe. Shesterkin made a glove save but could not hold on the puck, allowing Kevin Fiala to recover the rebound and slip it past the goalie.
Minutes later, after a Vincent Trocheck slash, the Kings doubled their lead on the powerplay. Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren both vacated the slot, leaving Gabe Vilardi in his own area code. Fiala’s pass found him all alone, and there was nothing Shesterkin could do. The goal was Vilardi’s eleventh of the year, and his first point in the past six games.
The Rangers failed to get much of anything going in the first, but they chipped away at the lead early in the second on Braden Schneider’s first goal of the season. Filip Chytil cycled the puck to him at the point, and the young defender tossed a seeing-eye wrister past Cal Peterson. Schneider’s had a tough season, so it was nice to see him get on the scoresheet.
After some back and forth action, the Rangers tied the game on Trocheck’s seventh goal of the season. Trocheck carried the puck coast to coast mostly uncontested, and when he reached the slot, he flipped an arcing backhander past Drew Doughty and Cal Peterson to tie the game.
The lucky bounces seemed to give the Rangers some swagger, as they created multiple chances before Kappo Kakko finally broke through to give New York their first lead of the night. With a delayed penalty called on the Kings, the six Rangers skaters sustained a great deal of pressure in the zone that included Mika Zibanejad hitting the post on a one timer. Even so, they prevented the Kings from touching up. A few quick passes ended with Chytil, who put the puck on net. Kakko was on the doorstep and guided the rebound home. The goal was Kakko’s fourth of the year.
The Rangers have turned things around this period. Kaapo Kakko with the go-ahead goal pic.twitter.com/C3B47SH2Wy— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) November 23, 2022
In the third, the Kings tied the game at three on an unusual sequence. The Kid Line created a chance, in the process, multiple Kings lost their sticks. Peterson, who was among those with misplaced lumber, was dragged out behind the net. Kakko carried the puck from below the goal line looking for a shooting lane, but could only find the post. The Kids continued to pressure, almost like it was a powerplay, but could not finish. As a result, they got caught on the ice for too long, and the Kings capitalized when Sean Walker scored his first goal of the season.
The Rangers answered almost immediately on a set play between Zibanejad and Kreider. Zibanejad fired the puck down ice, and Kreider turned on the jets to beat the icing, recover the puck, and beat Peterson to the short side. Peterson probably wanted that one back, but it’s always fun to see a set play work, especially when Kreider and Zib look so dang happy about it. Kreider’s goal would stand as the game winner, and he’d go on to pad the lead with an empty net goal for a final score of 5-3. They are now 4-1-1 in their last six games.
And just like that, the Rangers respond back to the Kings. Kreider with the speedy skating, quick shot. Smart play by Zibanejad to set this up pic.twitter.com/BD4B1gSUPO— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) November 23, 2022
The Rangers road trip continues tomorrow night against Ryan Strome, Kevin Shattenkirk, and the lowly Anaheim Ducks.