The New York Rangers found themselves in a hole 55 seconds into their game against the L.A. Kings and suffered a 3-1 loss.
The New York Rangers came out flat at the start of the first period and paid dearly for it when Philip Danault scored his seventh of the year 55 seconds into the hockey game. Blake Lizotte made it 2-0 at 3:41 of the first with the Kings going on to win the game 3-1.
The Covid ghost continued to haunt the Blueshirts with the announcement that Barclay Goodrow entered Covid protocol prior to the start of the game.
Goodrow joins a long list of players and coaches in Covid protocol which now includes head coach Gerard Gallant, Igor Shesterkin, Ryan Reaves, and Julien Gauthier.
Kris Knoblauch arrived in Los Angeles to stand behind the bench for the missing Gallant. He had a busy few days of travel with his Hartford Wolf Pack playing in Utica, N.Y. over the weekend, then heading back to Connecticut. Before he could get any rest he found himself on a cross-country flight to meet up with the Rangers.
Tough Night for Strome’s Line
The night started with the return of Artemi Panarin who missed four games due to protocol. He returned to the left-wing, with Ryan Strome in the middle and Alexis Lafreniere on the right side. The line was on the ice for all three goals scored against the Rangers Monday night.
The second line wasn’t the only reason the team suffered their 10th loss of the season. Defenseman K’Andre Miller had another inconsistent game, coughing up the puck which lead to theKing’s first goal of the game. It was the second consecutive game a Miller turnover resulted in the opposition scoring a goal.
The Rangers finally scored a goal when Mika Zibanejad (13 goals) deflected a Filip Chytil shot to cut the Kings lead in half to 2-1 at 11:27 of the third period. Zibanejad’s goal was his eighth goal in his last nine games and his fifth goal in his last five games.
The Rangers had a game plan heading into the game, but as Chris Kreider explained to Dan Greenspan of NHL.com the team was not smart. He took the blame for the team’s overall performance on Monday night.
“We talked about before the game what they do in the neutral zone, and we just decided to work hard and not smart,” Rangers forward Chris Kreider said. “We need to come with speed, support each other, and we made it really easy on them walking out of the zone, and then ultimately trying to get our feet going a little bit too late, and getting beat and giving them rushes and letting them advance the puck up the ice.”
“I think that’s what you saw at the beginning of the second period, and ultimately, it’s on us to settle down and regroup and commit to doing the right things to advance the puck and play the right way. We did that a little bit too late when we’d already given up the lead at that point. You didn’t nip it in the bud early in the game, so it’s on us. It’s on me.”
- ROADSHOW – The Rangers played their 22nd road game of the season tonight, tying Calgary for the most road games in the NHL. New York has played 22 of 37 games on the road (59.5%), their most through 37 games in franchise history.
- PENALTY KILLING – New York went a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill tonight and have been perfect on the PK in five of their last seven games, nine of their last 12 games, and 15 of their last 19 games. The Rangers have killed off 45 of their last 49 penalties (91.8) since Nov. 26.
- FACEOFF FRENZY – The Blueshirts went 31-for-51 (61 percent) in the faceoff circle and have been 50 percent or better in the circle in three of their last five games. Tonight was the fourth time this season in which the Rangers were 61 percent or better (1.10 at LAK, 1.02 vs. TBL, 12.17 vs. VGK, 12.15 at ARI).
- Mika Zibanejad scored his 13th goal of the season and the Ranger’s lone goal tonight. Zibanejad has eight goals in his last nine games and five goals in his last five games. Since December 15, Zibanejad leads the NHL with eight goals in that span. In his last nine games, Zibanejad has totaled eight goals and four assists for 12 points. Zibanejad has points in four of his last five games (5G-1A). Zibanejad is one goal away from 150 with New York. In addition to his goal, Zibanejad went 16-for-23 in the faceoff circle (70.0 percent), his fifth game this season registering a faceoff percentage of 70 percent or better. Four of those five games have come since Dec. 17.
- Filip Chytil notched an assist for a second consecutive game, giving him three goals and six assists for nine points this season. It marks the second time this season that Chytil has recorded assists in back-to-back games (Dec. 8-10, 2021).
- Greg McKegg tallied his second point (A) of the season, in his 17th game, giving him two assists in his last six games. McKegg delivered a team-high and career-high six hits, surpassing his previous high of four hits.
- Ryan Lindgren played in his 150th career game, all with the Rangers. Since making his debut on January 15, 2019, among all Rangers, Lindgren ranks third in plus/minus (+44) and blocked shots (201), fourth in hits (261), and second in shorthanded time on ice.
- Jacob Trouba had a team-high four blocked shots, tying Connor Murphy (82) for the fourth-most blocked shots in the NHL. (via NYR PR)
The Rangers will have the day off on Tuesday. Their next game is Thursday night in San Jose.