Sunday, November 17, 2013
W2W4: Rangers vs. Kings
By Katie Strang
At a glance: The New York Rangers are riding high after Saturday night’s rare 1-0 win against the Canadiens in Montreal. The Blueshirts return home to Madison Square Garden on Sunday night to host the Los Angeles Kings, winners of two straight. Approaching the quarter-mark of the season, both teams find themselves in eighth place of their respective conferences, with the Kings looking to wrap a four-game road trip with a win.
Not so Quick: The Kings will be without star goaltender Jonathan Quick, who is sidelined with a lower-body injury. The 27-year-old suffered a strained groin this past week and is expected to miss four to six weeks, a daunting loss for a Kings squad that has relied on his exceptional play in recent years. Ben Scrivens has since ascended to the No. 1 goaltending spot. He has recorded two straight wins since the promotion and is coming off a 26-save shutout against the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
Looking good: Bolstered by a fine performance from backup goaltender Cam Talbot on Saturday -- the 26-year-old’s first career shutout -- the Rangers continue to roll as they make up for a rough start to the season. They have won eight of their past 11 games, and have been stingy in making their way back up the Eastern Conference standings. During that span they have given up only 1.63 goals per game. That includes a stretch from Oct. 24 to Nov. 7 of nine straight games holding opponents to two goals or fewer.
Not there yet:Rick Nash had one of his best games as a Blueshirt the last time these two teams played, but the Rangers will not have him at their disposal Sunday. The injured winger has not played since suffering a concussion in the team’s deflating 9-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 8. Nash is showing significant signs of improvement, however, as he continues to skate and practice with the team. There remains no timetable for his return, but it appears possible he could return at some point this coming week. Meanwhile, Dominic Moore returned from an oblique injury and made an impact in the team’s morale-boosting win in Montreal.