Rangers vs. Kings: And Just Like That It’s Gone

The Rangers squander a hot start and fall to the Kings 4-2.

  • The Rangers have now lost back to back games to start their road trip on the West Coast, and Sunday evening’s game turned oh so quickly. It looked like the team was doing things the right way, but an end of the period skirmish gave the Los Angeles Kings life, and the game was their’s from that point onward.
  • New York got off to a hot start after David Desharnais scored a power-play goal assisted by Tony DeAngelo and Vinni Lettieri. The puck banked in off a Los Angeles King in front, but the goal was created due to decisive and quick puck movement by the Rangers’ second power-play unit./
  • Less than five minutes later Jimmy Vesey picked up his 10th goal of the season, and it was a greasy one put home because he was hanging around the net. Mats Zuccarello picked up his 26th assist of the season, and Brady Skjei picked up his 12th.
  • The game started to turn at the end of the first period when Brendan Smith fought Kings rookie Adrian Kempe to presumably blow off some steam stemming from a head shot delivered by Kyle Clifford earlier in the game. /
  • I get why he would be angry, but it is the end of the period and the guy he chose to square off with was a rookie who had never fought before. It wasn’t a very smart decision, and it ended up backfiring.
  • Smith was assessed five minutes for fighting, and he picked up an additional 2:00 for roughing which put the Kings on the power play to start the second period. It didn’t take them long to strike as Jake Muzzin scored his fourth goal of the season only 30 seconds into the period.
  • Henrik Lundqvist did not see the shot as a combination of Ryan McDonagh and Dustin Brown blocked his vision. /
  • Roughly six minutes later the Kings struck gold a second time on the power play. Marc Staal attempted to clear the puck, and it ricocheted off the skate of Rick Nash and before you knew it the puck ended up on the stick of Michael Amadio and past Lundqvist./
  • A little over four minutes later the Kings scored their third power play goal of the period, this time Tanner Pearson was credited with the goal. Alec Martinez hammered home a point shot that found a way through Lundqvist and then Pearson gave it a little extra push to make sure it crossed the goal line. /
  • Trevor Lewis tacked on an empty net goal with 17.8 seconds remaining, and that was all she wrote.
  • The Rangers really can’t afford to give games away like they did on Sunday, especially when they get off to a good start. The Kings looked lifeless in the first period, and the Rangers let them back into the game by not keeping composure at the end of the period.
  • Heading into this game the Kings had lost six in a row, and they way they started the game they were easily on their way to a seventh straight loss. After one period the Kings out shot the Rangers 10-9. After two periods it was 22-15 and they ended the game with 30 shots to the Rangers’ 23.
  • Once the Kings were back in the game the Rangers weren’t generating much offense, and they just couldn’t find a way to string together some momentum.
  • Henrik Lundqvist finished the game with 26 saves, and was tested all night long because of breakdowns including moments like this./
  • The Rangers lost this game directly because they gave up three power-play goals in a span of 10 minutes. This is not a winning strategy, and the team is going to need to play with more discipline and composure if they want to be successful.
  • You can understand why Smith got caught up in the moment, but tonight was not the moment to retaliate.
  • The Rangers have now lost six of their last nine, and will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday vs. the Anaheim Ducks./