Rangers sleepwalk and fall to Kings 3-1
The New York Rangers were happy to have Artemi Panarin back after a four game absence. But in a COVID world they now found themselves without Gerard Gallant and Barclay Goodrow against the Kings.
Of course, Igor Shesterkin, Ryan Reaves, and Julien Gauthier are also out due to COVID. Plus Dryden Hunt is on IR with an upper-body injury.
It was a lot of energy and grit missing from the lineup and it showed.
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Recap: Kings 3 vs Rangers 1
In the opening minute, the Rangers came out strong and fired three shots on Cal Petersen. One was a great cross ice feed from Alexis Lafrenière to Ryan Strome that was stopped by a flashing pad.
Then it was all Kings as they dominated the rest of the period and outshot the Rangers by a 13-6 margin despite having to kill two penalties. Alexander Georgiev continued his strong goaltending to keep things scoreless.
“I don’t think we did a great job taking care of the puck,” Jarred Tinordi said. “We had some turnovers and that’s where they got most of their chances. If we tighten up we’ll be alright.”
Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, they didn’t get that message as K’Andre Miller committed a bad turnover that led to a Kings goal 55 seconds in. Trevor Moore’s shot was stopped by Georgiev but Phillip Danault put home the rebound as Miller failed to pick him up.
The Kings would pad their lead 2:46 seconds later with a goal by Blake Lizotte. Again it was Moore leading the rush and playing it on net where the loose puck was put by Georgiev.
Los Angeles outshot the Rangers by an even larger margin in the middle frame 18-9.
New York finally shook off the stupor they were in midway through the third period. Mika Zibanejad would deflect a Filip Chytil shot to cut the lead to 2-1. For Zibanejad, it was his 8th goal in nine games.
Knoblauch would pull Georgiev after an icing with just under two minutes left. Although they applied some pressure, Adrian Kempe iced the game with an empty net goal.
- Alexandar Georgiev stopped 36 of 38 shots
- Mika Zibanejad’s 8 goals from December 15th leads the NHL
- Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller were -2 each
- Ryan Strome and Alexis Lafrenière were -3 each
- Artemi Panarin played 19:57 in his return and was a -2
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