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The Los Angeles Kings dropped their third game in a row last night, falling 5-3 to the New York Rangers.
The Kings opened the scoring right away, as Kevin Fiala managed to get to a rebound in front and beat Igor Shesterkin only 35 seconds into the game. Then as Los Angeles continued to press, Fiala found Gabriel Vilardi for a tap-in at the side of the net on a power play, extending the lead to 2-0 only six minutes into the game. The Kings continued to completely outplay New York in the first period, ending the frame up 13-6 in shots.
The Rangers came out stronger in the second period though and only about two minutes in, Braden Schneider put the puck on net through traffic and it found its way in to cut the lead in half. Then later in the period, Vincent Trocheck came in on a seemingly innocent solo rush and while Drew Doughty went to get his stick on Trocheck's shot, the puck ended up popping up in the air and floating over Petersen and in, to tie the game. Then with only about a minute to go in the frame on a New York power play, Filip Chytil took a shot that was stopped, but Kaapo Kakko managed to bury the rebound in front, giving the Rangers their first lead heading into the second intermission.
Kakko then almost found the net again in the third period, but he was stopped on a wild diving save from Petersen. Los Angeles made the save count shortly after, going back the other way and after keeping the puck in the offensive zone, Sean Walker’s shot was deflected on its way to the net and beat Shesterkin to tie the game.
Under a minute later though, Chris Kreider managed to beat out an icing and just fired the puck on net off the bounce from the end boards to beat Petersen, on a goal that the netminder just really couldn’t afford to give up. The Kings did press with 15 shots in the frame afterwards but the damage was done, and Kreider added an empty netter later to secure a 5-3 win for New York.
It’s a tough loss for Los Angeles, after blowing a lead, then tying it back up, only to go back down on a bad goal shortly after. The Kings still ended up outshooting New York 38-25 in the loss.
With Petersen, it’s tough because he did make some important saves, but the Kreider goal was just one he can’t be giving up at an important point in the game. He’s posted a brutal .876 save percentage through his nine starts this season and it’s beginning to seem unlikely that Petersen is still going to be a starter at all.
The Kings went with Kevin Fiala back on the top line, then bottom-six lines of Blake Lizotte with Gabriel Vilardi and Carl Grundstrom, and Rasmus Kupari with Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Arthur Kaliyev. We’ll see which ones stick for Friday.
The loss marks the Kings’ third defeat in a row, and fourth loss over their last five games. After a less-than-great road trip, it’s obviously a bit deflating to drop their first game back at home.
Their next game will come on Friday, when they face the San Jose Sharks.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER
Kings drop back down to .500 following 5-2 loss to Stars
Kings come up short against Blackhawks, lose in overtime
Kings kick off four-game homestand with win over Panthers
Kings shut out Wild with strong defensive effort
Kings beat Blackhawks in overtime for third straight win
Kings sweep four-game homestand with win over Red Wings
Kings come up short in first game of road trip, lose 6-5 to Flames
Kings fall to Canucks following win over Oilers as road trip continues
Kings end road trip with overtime loss to Kraken