New York Rangers 4, Kings 3 (SO)
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: The Kings twice tied the score in the third period Thursday at Madison Square Garden, but Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was better than Los Angeles counterpart Jonathan Bernier in the shootout, allowing New York to escape with the victory.
THE STAT: The Kings tied a franchise record with a point in their 11th consecutive game (8-0-3) and jumped three spots in the Western Conference standings to sixth. Of course, that could still change by the end of the night.
TURNING POINT: Erik Christensen scored on the first shootout attempt for the Rangers and Lundqvist then stopped Michal Handzus as he drove hard at the net. Mats Zuccarello then made a nice change-of-pace move to score on Bernier and the 2-0 deficit was too big to overcome for the Kings.
HOT: Anze Kopitar failed to score on his attempt to extend the shootout, but he contributed an assist for the fourth consecutive game. Dustin Brown also scored twice for the Kings, his first multi-goal effort since Dec. 27.
NOT: After scoring big goals in the last two games, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty wasn’t himself against the Rangers, twice getting burned for goals in regulation, finishing with a minus-two rating and accounting for three of his team’s four giveaways.
GOOD MOVE: Kings defenseman Matt Greene scored his first goal in 73 games to tie the score, 2-2, just 1 minute 40 seconds after New York had taken its first lead.
BAD MOVE: Rangers defensman Marc Staal was just holding the puck in his zone, waiting for the clock to expire at the end of regulation when Kings forward Alexei Ponikarovsky inexplicably struck Staal in the face with a high stick, earning a four-minute penalty at the start of overtime. Fortunately, the Rangers committed a high-sticking penalty of their own 1:48 into overtime, causing a rare three-on-three situation for two minutes.
NOTABLE: In the 11-game point streak, the score has been tied or within one goal heading into each third period. Six of those games were also tied at the end of regulation. The Kings have also allowed three goals or less in 17 straight games.
UP NEXT: at New York Islanders, Saturday, 4 p.m. PT.