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Desperate Kings Double Up Rangers

The Rangers began the game ranked eighth in the NHL in the Penalty Kill at 83.5% killing off 172 out of 206 chances.

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

 

The Rangers were bound to have one of those games. The team had been on such a prolonged hot streak, that it was inevitable. Since December 8th, 2014; the Broadway Blueshirts have a record of 35-8-3. So a 4-2 loss to the defending Stanley Cup winners, the LA Kings, was not shocking. The Kings are on a five game road trip as they are still fighting to get into a playoff position. The Rangers meanwhile are still atop the Metropolitan Division.

This game can be looked at many ways. Was it the game that the more desperate team won? Was it the game that Cam Talbot just did not have it after playing more games than he has played in years? Was it the game that the team just did not have it? Or is it a combination of all three.

With Henrik Lundqvist finally returning to practice after his long layoff and the being beside his wife for the birth of their second child, Cam may find himself with a little more rest. Henrik is slated to play either at Boston on Saturday or at home versus the Caps on Sunday.

The Rangers jumped out to an early lead just over a minute into the game, as Mats Zuccarello beat Jonathan Quick. But the Kings came back as a deflected shot off the skate of Keith Yandle trickled between the pads of Cam Talbot.

In the second period, Cam mishandled a clearing attempt, which was stopped by Justin Williams, who fed Anze Kopitar, who made a nifty pass to Marion Gaborik who deposited the puck into the almost empty net. This made the score 2-1 and Cam was once again guilty of overplaying the puck.

In the third, Jeff Carter and Jake Muzzin scored to make it 4-1, before Kevin Hayes tallied his 14th of the season to make the score 4-2. The Rangers pulled Cam for the extra skater, but could not even come close to scoring.

The Rangers failed to gain a point and must hope that Nashville defeats Montreal, or they will fall into second place in the East and in the overall race for the President’s Trophy.

The schedule does not get any easier, as the next three opponents are also desperate hockey teams fighting to keep or gain a playoff spot. The Blueshirts face the Ottawa Senators on Thursday in Ottawa, the Bruins in Boston on Saturday and the Caps at the Garden on Sunday. All three are very winnable games and the Rangers MUST win all three to reestablish themselves as not only the best team in the Eastern Conference, but in the league as well.

 

Scoring:

NYR: Mats Zuccarello (13), Assisted by J. T. Miller

LAK: Robyn Regehr (2), Assisted by Kyle Clifford

LAK: Marian Gaborik (23), Assisted by Anze Kopitar & Justin Williams

LAK: Jeff Carter (26), Assisted by Dwight King

LAK: Jake Muzzin (8), Assisted by Anze Kopitar & Trevor Lewis

NYR: Kevin Hayes (14), Assisted by Dan Boyle

 

Team Stats                              LAK                              NYR

Shots on Goal                         35                                  36

Power Play                              0 for 2                           0 for 1

Hits                                         27                                  40

Face Off Wins                        34                                  30

Giveaways                              4                                    12

Takeaways                             6                                    10

Blocked Shots                         11                                  15

 

Goalie Stats:

Jonathan Quick: 34 Saves on 36 Shots for a SV% of .944

Cam Talbot: 31 Saves on 35 Shots for a SV% of .886

 

3 Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Jonathan Quick: 34 Saves on 36 Shots for a SV% of .944

2nd Star: Marion Gaborik: 1 Goal

1st Star: Anze Kopitar: 2 Assists

 

Broadway Bits:

The Rangers began the game ranked eighth in the NHL in the Penalty Kill at 83.5% killing off 172 out of 206 chances.

Against the Kings they killed off two more, so they are now 172 out of 208.

Mats Zuccarello scored a goal and had two shots on goal in 16:10 of Ice Time

Kevin Hayes scored a goal, had three shots on goal, two hits and won four out of seven face offs in 15:47 of ice time

  1. T. Miller had an assist and three hits in 15:36 of ice time

Dan Boyle had an assist, three shots on goal, one hit and blocked a shot in 20:48 of ice time

 

The Rangers will travel to Ottawa and take on the red hot Ottawa Senators and their equally red hot goalie Andrew Hammond, the Hamburglar.  Let us see if the Blueshirts can rebound and beat this kid and the Sens.

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