Kings remind Rangers they have to play a full 60 minutes
In a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup Final, here’s how the game unfolded:
Not even a minute passed by, and the New York Rangers got the first goal of the game. Thanks to the constant work ethic of J.T. Miller, the Rangers winger stayed with the puck and the puck in-close on Jonathan Quick. After the puck was take off his stick, it found linemate Mats Zuccarello. A wrist shot was placed over the shoulder of the Kings goalie and found the back of the net. For Zuccarello, it was his 13th and Miller got his 10th assist of the season.
Despite the lead, the Kings were taking it to Cam Talbot and the Rangers. From puck drop, the Kings picked up where they left off last night. They were winning faceoffs, keeping the puck in their offensive zone and making the Rangers scramble around. Talbot was forced to make some grade A saves. One of those came on Kings captain Dustin Brown. After a turnover in he Rangers end, Brown was alone in front of Talbot and practically walked in on goal. Brown tried to out-fake the Rangers netminder by going backhand, forehand with the puck. But, Talbot was up to the task.
The Rangers defense finally felt the LA’s offensive pressure get to them. After buzzing for most of the game, the visiting team was able to tie the game up at one. With 9:21 left in the period, the Kings got on the board from Robyn Regeher (2). The assist was credited to Kyle Clifford.
At the end of the period, the were being outshot 12-17 to the Kings. But, a glaring stat for the Rangers was seven giveaways.
New York Rangers
Through the first four minutes of the period, the Kings carried their hard work from the first period. After good offensive pressure where the Rangers couldn’t clear the puck out of their zone, former Ranger Marian Gaborik put the Kings up by one by scoring on the right side for his 23rd goal of the season. Assists were credited to Anze Kopitar (43) and Justin Williams (20).
The first half of the period was all Kings. Cycling the puck down low, executing exact passes, putting pucks in the right places for teammates to pick it up, and relentless forecheck, made the ice tilt in their favor. When the Rangers had a little light, the Kings were there to shut the door. The Rangers were unable to get to the puck quicker then a Kings player and unable to sustain any pressure.
Even though the Rangers were able to find their legs and put some shots on Quick, in the closing minutes of the period, the Kings dominated, as if they were playing for their playoff lives. They outshot the Rangers again, 14-9. However, the play of the Kings made the period made it seem far worse.
Even though the two teams were separated by one goal, the play of the Kings made it seem worse. And when it’s night your night, it’s not your night. After strong play along the boards from the Kings’ Dwight King, he put the puck on net for Jeff Carter to deflect past Talbot for his 26th goal of the season. King was credited with his 12th assist. Later in the period, the King would add to their lead when Jake Muzzin scored his 8th goal season off a wrist shot. Assists were credited to Kopitar (44) for his second of the night and Trevor Lewis (14).
Before the game ended, the Rangers were able to get one goal back. Kevin Hayes scored his 14th goal of the season after receiving a pass from Dan Boyle. For Boyle, it was his 9th assist of the season.
However, the Kings took the game 4-2, in a precision-filled offensive display. Though, the Rangers outshot the Kings 15-4 in the period, they could not overcome the two-goal deficit. The team suffered it’s second regulation loss for the month of March.
Three Stars of the Game
Anze Kopitar: two assists, +2, TOI: 17:40
Marian Gaborik: one goal, +1, three shots
Jonathan Quick: 34 of 36 saves, .944 save percentage
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