Tonight, the Los Angeles Kings finished up their metro-area road trip and visited Madison Square Garden and the New York Rangers in a West vs East match-up.
The first period featured the Kings getting some chances early, but the Rangers defense was able to fend off the initial attack. After the opening minutes, New York seemed to find themselves. They got to their forecheck and forced backup goaltender Ben Scrivens to make some good saves. Overall, it was a solid period played by both teams and there wasn’t much space to maneuver as both sides played tight defensively. The period ended with the game still scoreless.
The second stanza began and we saw basically the same things we saw in the first. Tight defense and not much offense. Things looked to be going well for the Rangers until Tyler Toffoli spun around and put a shot towards goal which took a lucky bounce off of Anton Stralman‘s skate and slipped past Henrik Lundqvist, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead. Frustration mounted late in the second as the Rangers had three straight powerplay opportunities, including two five-on-three’s and couldn’t cash in. They hesitated to shoot the puck and when they did it was an easy stop for Scrivens. The Blueshirts looked to be feeling the effects of their back-to-back and were trailing 1-0 after two periods of play.
In the third and final period of play, the Rangers tried all they could but just could not put the puck past Scrivens. Dominic Moore even tried kicking the puck in with about two minutes left, but unfortunately that isn’t allowed in the sport. The buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the game and the Kings left the ice with two points and a 1-0 victory, which was Scrivens’ second straight shutout.
The two biggest downfalls for the Rangers tonight were faceoffs and special teams. They went 0-5 on the powerplay and only won 37% of their faceoffs and it has been proven that if you don’t do well in the faceoff circle you will most likely not do that well in the game, that was shown tonight.
A frustrated Lundqvist was seen leaving the ice, clearly disappointed as he gave all he could for the team, but didn’t get much in return.
Don’t get me wrong, the Rangers had chances, but not enough. We saw it on the man advantage, they just weren’t putting pucks toward the net and Alain Vigneault needs to stress that to his team if they want to beat a tough Boston Bruins squad on Tuesday night at MSG.
The Rangers need to put this loss behind them and focus on Boston because they are going to come at New York with all they have. It will be a classic Original Six match-up that will surely be entertaining to watch.
|01:23||LAK||Tyler Toffoli (4) Snap shot – ASST: Mike Richards (13), Slava Voynov (6)||1 – 0 LAK|