The Rangers came into last night’s game against the Kings with a post-break record of 1-2, but it was three straight games of positive puck possession and overall solid looking play. The Rangers did that again last night, controlling play throughout regulation, taking a 3-2 lead into the final minute. Adrian Kempe scored in that final minute to send the game into overtime, where Tyler Toffoli ended it less than 30 seconds into the extra frame.
The Blueshirts’ top line of Mika Zibanejad (goal, assist), Mats Zuccarello (assist), and Chris Kreider (goal) led the way for the Rangers. Plus Adam McQuaid inflated his trade value with a goal. The Rangers got a point, but gave two to LA, and who knows, that might help them down the road when it comes to draft odds. Losing in that manner is a gut punch though, that’s for sure.
Rangers 1, Kings 0
This is a tremendous pass by Tony DeAngelo, and a great job by Kreider to get himself into position for the easy tap-in. This was the first of many sustained pressure shifts in the offensive zone.
Rangers 1, Kings 1
Stretch pass all the way to selling the shot.
Pure gold. pic.twitter.com/Oa4krFAviD
— NHL (@NHL) February 5, 2019
This was a great stretch pass from Drew Doughty. Ilya Kovalchuk still commands attention, especially when he’s teeing it up to shoot. The issue, though, is that Brady Skjei chases Carl Hagelin to the point where he’s out of the play. Kevin Shattenkirk tried to cover, but there’s no way he’s going to be able to stop that pass when he had to change direction last second. If Skjei stays to his side, it’s a 3-on-2 with the pass covered and the trailer a non-factor.
Rangers 2, Kings 1
More sustained pressure from the Rangers. Steve Valliquette did a review of this goal on the broadcast, and noted that Zibanejad’s tap-in was the fourth shot attemptin a short span, although not many hit the net or got through. That’s why shot attempts matter. They create chaos.
Rangers 2, Kings 2
Anze Kopitar found the seam here, between four Rangers. People will be quick to point out Marc Staal backing up, but he’s covering that pass to the back door. Neal Pionk is along the boards, which is fine. I was Boo Nieves who lost Kopitar, giving him that seam to the slot.
Rangers 3, Kings 2
— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) February 5, 2019
This was another goal that was fed off constant pressure. Vlad Namestnikov provided a timely screen as McQuaid wristed it past Quick, who clearly didn’t see the puck.
Rangers 3, Kings 3
The Kings just got the puck deep, and Kempe beat McQuaid to the post for the centering feed.
Kings 4, Rangers 3
Just seconds after Zibanejad hit the post, the Kings turned the fortunate bounce into a 2-on-1 of their own. Toffoli roofed it and ended it.
The Blueshirts did a good job getting to the front of the net in this game. They also limited –somewhat– the Kings’ chances in front (the blue isn’t that dark). That’s four in a row with good process.
There’s little time to reflect on this one, the Rangers are back at it again on Wednesday. Good process + fewer points = the dream tank scenario. I know, I know, but it’s worth pointing out.