New York Hockey: Jonathan Bernier

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Kings 3 (SO)

February, 17, 2011

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Rangers picked up two crucial points as they defeated the Kings 4-3 in the shootout at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers blew two third period leads, but scored on two shootout shots and Henrik Lundqvist stopped two of three. The Rangers improved to 31-24-4 and 6-2 in the shootout.

THE SHOOTOUT: Erik Christensen and Mats Zuccarello scored on the first two shots and Lundqvist stoned Anze Kopitar on the third shot to pick up the win.

2 GOOD: Lundqvist won his 200th NHL game.

SQUANDERED CHANCE: The Rangers had a four-minute power play to start overtime, but that penalty quickly ended when Brandon Dubinsky was penalized for high sticking. This led to a 3-on-3 segment of overtime that featured very little action. The Rangers had their chance to apply the pressure with the four-minute penalty, but wasted their golden opportunity.

THAT DIDN’T LAST LONG -- TWICE: Lundqvist didn’t do a good job of protecting his team's leads. Just one minute and 40 seconds after the Rangers took a 2-1 lead, the Kings tied the game on a long-distance goal by Matt Greene. After the Rangers took a 3-2 lead with just 3:08 remaining, the Kings scored the equalizer just 37 seconds letter. While Lundqvist was good for the most part, he gave leads up quickly and didn't allow the Rangers to play very long with an advantage.

WE FOUND GABBY: Marian Gaborik avoided his second eight-game goalless drought of the season with a third period goal that gave the Rangers a temporary 2-1 lead. After a turnover by the Kings, Gaborik beat Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier stickside from the right faceoff circle for his 17th goal of the season.

PUT A SPIN ON IT: The first goal of the game was worthy of making tonight’s top 10 plays. The Kings, on the power play, started behind their own goal and rushed up the ice, keeping the Rangers off balance. From the left faceoff circle Justin Williams passed to Dustin Brown in the middle who caught the puck, did a spin and fired a home a goal to give the Kings a 1-0 lead just 5:25 in the game.

ACTION PACKED: After a dull first period, which included some boos for the Rangers' poor power play, both teams went back and forth with shots, big hits and pressure. The Rangers tied the game in the second period when Ryan Callahan scored on a rebound at the 4:01 mark.

YOU CAN’T DRAW IT UP ANY BETTER: The goal that gave the Rangers a 3-2 edge was a fantastic play that worked to perfection. Callahan stole the puck in the Rangers territory and raced up the ice, eventually shooting the puck off the back wall right to Dubinsky. Dubinsky grabbed the puck, raced around the back to the right goal post and scored with 3:08 left in the game.

GIVE THAT MAN A STANDING O: Callahan received one of the loudest cheers of the night for gutting out a power play. Callahan lost his stick during the Kings' third power play, but stayed active, moving back and forth and dropping down to try and block some shots. He eventually regained his stick and brought the puck to the Kings side of the ice before heading to the bench to a huge ovation.

UP NEXT: The Rangers head to the Garden State to take on the red-hot Devils. Last time the rivals met, the Devils defeated the Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden.

W2W4: Kings vs. Rangers

February, 17, 2011
The Los Angeles Kings come to the Garden Thursday night to battle the Rangers in a contest that pits two teams battling to reach the playoffs. Here are three factors to watch for when the puck drops.

Any Goal Is A Good Goal

Both the Rangers and Kings are excellent in their own end, ranking sixth and third respectively in goals against average. That ought to increase the value of any goal either sign can put on the board tonight. In addition to the stacked blue lines, which will feature Marc Staal and Drew Doughty, expect a solid battle in the nets between Henrik Lundqvist and talented youngster Jonathan Bernier.

Grind ‘Em Down

The gritty quality of the Rangers’ game could pay particular dividends against the Kings Thursday. L.A. is in the midst of a 10-game road trip that began Feb. 1. Adding to their potential weariness, the Columbus Blue Jackets took the Kings to a shootout Wednesday night. The Rangers should be well rested, having been off since Sunday’s win over Pittsburgh and should have the energy advantage. The Blueshirts shouldn’t expect the Kings, desperate for points in the playoff race, to simply roll over though. L.A. hasn’t lost in regulation since Jan. 20.

Special Teams Still Special?

Both the Rangers power play and penalty kill carried them in their 5-3 win over the Penguins. Now, can they keep that momentum going? The consistency on the PK has never really been in question this season, but the PP has been a work in progress. The three man-advantage goals Sunday marked the season high for the unit. It will be interesting to see if the Blueshirts can keep it up or if bad habits -- over-handling the puck, not screening the goalie -- resurface.