Los Angeles Kings Lose to New York Rangers 3-2 to Extend Losing Streak

Jan 23, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) pursues Los Angeles Kings cemter anze Kopitar (11) as he plays the puck during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) pursues Los Angeles Kings cemter anze Kopitar (11) as he plays the puck during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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The woes continue for the Los Angeles Kings. After losing 3-2 to the New York Rangers, they’ve now lost 4 straight and 5 of their last 7.

Jeff Zatkoff got the start for the Kings in net. It was his first game since January 7 and his first start since January 5. Henrik Lundqvist was between the pipes for the Rangers.

Nic Dowd was scratched from this game. He injured his lower body during the loss to the New York Islanders. Matt Greene was also scratched with a back injury. Tom Gilbert was the other scratch for the Kings.

The Rangers were also nursing a few injuries. Marc Staal was scratched with a concussion, Kevin Hayes was scratched with a lower body injury, and Jesper Fast was scratched with an upper body injury.

The Kings had an opportunity early when Rick Nash was sent to the penalty box for cross checking Anze Kopitar at 3:04 into the 1st period. They managed 1 shot on goal during the power play, but couldn’t score.

The Kings registered the first 8 shots on goal of the game before the Rangers made Zatkoff work. The Kings give up the least shots on goal per game in the NHL.

Jeff Carter had a great chance at point blank range off a rebound from an Alec Martinez shot that had deflected off of him, but Lundqvist made a terrific save.

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The Rangers responded on a giveaway in the other zone by Nick Shore. Brandon Pirri gained possession and beat Zatkoff low at 11:31 to put the Rangers ahead 1-0. New York came into this game 19-7-1 when scoring first this season.

The Madison Square Garden crowd was further energized when Brayden McNabb and Kevin Klein dropped the gloves at 17:18 and each got 5 minutes for fighting.

At 17:44, Devin Setoguchi was called for interference on Oscar Lindberg to continue a testy stretch near the end of the 1st.

Carter had a shorthanded breakaway, but was shut down by Lundqvist with another solid save to maintain the lead. The Kings proceeded to kill off the penalty.

Los Angeles outshot New York 14-5 in that opening period, and won the faceoff battle 16-7 despite trailing on the scoreboard.

Jordan Nolan was sent to the penalty box for holding Pirri at 3:58 into the 2nd period. The Kings killed off the penalty without allowing any shots on goal.

The Rangers extended their lead to 2-0 at 13:28 on a goal by Matt Puempel, in his first game back after concussion symptoms. Derek Stepan delivered the pass to him on an odd-man rush. Dan Girardi got the other assist.

At 14:11, a pair of penalties were handed out. Drew Doughty was whistled for tripping Mika Zibanejad, and Zibanejad was in turn given an unsportsmanlike conduct minor of his own for embellishment.

At 18:01, Los Angeles cut the lead in half on a goal by Nolan. Doughty and Andy Andreoff were credited with the assists on the top shelf blast from Nolan coming from the left side.

It was still anybody’s game heading into the 3rd period. The Kings had a solid opportunity to tie the game when Ryan McDonagh was sent to the sin bin at 4:54 for holding Kopitar. They got 3 shots on goal before their power play was ended by a Carter hooking penalty on Mats Zuccarello.

The leading points scorer on the Rangers continued to make his presence felt, as Zuccarello scored at 6:40 on a goal that was created by a giveaway that Zatkoff committed to J.T. Miller.

The Kings were able to score a last second goal after Zatkoff was pulled for an extra skater. Kyle Clifford got the goal on assists from Jake Muzzin and Nolan at 19:58, but it was ultimately irrelevant towards the final outcome.

Lundqvist had a terrific game, saving 36 out of 38 shots against him despite struggling at certain points this season. Zatkoff, on the other hand, didn’t fare as well. He saved only 14 of the 17 shots against him.

On the power play, the Kings went 0 of 2, while the Rangers went 0 of 3 on the man advantage. It was a solid game for both penalty killing units.

Next: Los Angeles Kings Could Really Use a Successful Road Trip

The Kings will continue their road trip at the New Jersey Devils on January 24. The Rangers will next play the Philadelphia Flyers at home on January 25.