Lundqvist Stops 36 Shots, Rangers Beat Kings 3-2

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 shots to lead the Rangers over the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Monday night.

Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel and Mats Zuccarello scored to help New York win its third straight since a three-game skid.

Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford scored, and Jeff Zatkoff finished with 14 saves for Los Angeles, which has lost four straight and five of seven.

Lundqvist has given up just four goals on 84 shots during the winning streak - including a 1-0 shutout at Detroit on Monday - after allowing 20 on 113 shots the previous four games.

The veteran goalie needed to be at his best in this one as the Kings, who last played Saturday across town against the Islanders, seemed a step faster from the start and controlled play for most of the first two periods.

After a giveaway by Zatkoff, J.T. Miller chased down the puck in the right corner and sent a pass back to Zuccarello in the right circle, and he fired it past the goalie for his ninth of the season at 6:40 of the third to make it 3-1. It was Zuccarello's first goal since Dec. 15 at Dallas and extended his point streak to six games.

With Zatkoff pulled for an extra skater, Clifford pulled Los Angeles within one with about one second left on the clock.

With New York leading 1-0 after one period, neither team could muster many offensive chances over the first half of the second. Dwight King got the Kings' first shot on goal of the period 6:19 in, and Miller got the Rangers' first 2:24 later.

Michael Grabner hit the crossbar for the Rangers with just over seven minutes remaining, and Los Angeles' Nolan hit a post eight seconds later.

Puempel, back after missing eight games with concussion symptoms, then doubled the lead with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the second. On an odd-man rush, Derek Stepan sent a pass to the left to Puempel, who wristed it past Zatkoff for his sixth.

Nolan got the Kings on the scoreboard, rifling a shot top shelf from outside the left circle with 2:01 left in the second for his third.

Los Angeles had a 10-1 advantage on shots over the first 11 1/2 minutes of the game until the Rangers took advantage of a Kings turnover. Brayden McNabb sent a pass from behind the Kings' net that went off Nick Shore's stick right to Pirri, who wristed it past Zatkoff for his eighth.

Lundqvist made a pair of nice saves on Kings leading scorer Jeff Carter in the opening period. First, he made a pad save on a tip attempt shortly before the Rangers' goal, and then stopped Carter on a short-handed breakaway with about 1 1/2 minutes to go.

Tempers also flared late in the first as McNabb had a hard hit on Zuccarello into the end boards and the two got into a shoving match in front of the Kings' net seconds later, with King joining. New York's Kevin Klein then skated in and fought McNabb.

NOTES: Kings coach Darryl Sutter remained one win from breaking a tie with Jacques Lemaire for 12th on the NHL wins list at 617. ... C Anze Kopitar tied Rob Blake for fifth place on the franchise's games played list with 805. ... The teams conclude their season series March 25 at Los Angeles. ... The Rangers' Alain Vigneault coached his 1,100th game, becoming the 18th coach in NHL history to reach the milestone. ... New York was without RW Kevin Hayes due to a lower-body injury. Hayes began the day third on the team with 35 points. ... New York improved to 20-7-1 when scoring first and 19-2-0 when leading after two.


Kings: At New Jersey on Tuesday night in the third game of a five-game trip.

Rangers: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us