A lot of people were worried when Jonathan Quick went down with a groin injury against Buffalo. A fair amount of people weren't too worried, thinking that Ben Scrivens would be a capable fill-in. I don't recall anyone predicting that Scrivens would be this good, though.
The Los Angeles Kings were decent tonight against the New York Rangers, but they were only able to get one shot past Henrik Lundqvist. It turned out to be enough, as Scrivens stopped 37 shots to earn his third shutout of the season and his second in just five starts.
The first period didn't feature any goals and didn't feature too much in the way of excitement, but both teams had their chances to get on the board. The Kings got a good amount of offensive zone time at the game's beginning, but would eventually give way to some Tyler Toffoli had a good look stopped near then end of the period.shots and the game's first power play. Scrivens shut the door despite sliding all over the place; the most impressive thing about Scrivens in the first wasn't that he stopped all 11 shots, it was that he did it despite finding himself in odd positions throughout. The Kings didn't have many great chances themselves, but
Toffoli clearly was hoping for more, because he went right back at Henrik Lundqivst in the second. After he and Richards were stopped by Lundqivst on an early chance, they broke through for what would be the game's only goal. Richards kept possession of the puck in the corner and delivered a blind pass to Toffoli in the middle of the ice. Toffoli had his back to the net and was far away, but that didn't stop him from whirling around and taking a slap shot. Lundqvist had it covered and the shot may have been going wide, but Anton Stralman's skate redirected the puck past Lundqvist. It was a reward for a great stretch of play by the Kings; they dominated even strength, and nearly added to the lead via their Carcillo-Stoll-Frattin line. But Jarret Stoll was stopped by a sprawling Lundqvist, and Alec Martinez hit the post and was denied again ten seconds later by Lundqvist. Cue booming "HENRIK!" chants.
A 3-on-1 on the power play (following up a Rangers shorthanded 2-on-1) also went for nothing, and Willie Mitchell's penalty quickly tilted the ice in the other direction. A good start to the PK was ruined by a too-many-men penalty, and after killing that 5-on-3, they got put on another 5-on-3 thanks to Trevor Lewis clearing the puck into the stands.
... wait, actually, that was a New York Ranger who knocked the puck into the stands. Somehow, Lewis still went to the box. Now saddled with another (brief) 5-on-3 and two more minutes of penalty killing, the Kings and Scrivens came through. Mostly Scrivens, who made six stops on the power play despite some good opportunities for the Rangers. But Anze Kopitar and Jarret Stoll did great work on the puck, Robyn Regehr had a particularly good block/clear sequence, and the rest of the Kings stayed out of the way of Scrivens.
The Rangers would go on to get 15 shots in the third period, with good pressure at the beginning of the frame (and perhaps Scrivens' best save, on Mats Zuccarello). Anze Kopitar had a great game and nearly put the Kings up by two a couple times, and Dustin Brown also provided some good offensive moves and a huge hit on Dan Girardi. However, New York continued pressing for an equalizer and appeared to have gotten it with under three minutes left. Unfortunately for the Rangers, it came on a kick by Dominic Moore. Scrivens and the Kings held off New York in the frantic final minute, and LA made it seven points out of eight for the New York road trip.
As for Scrivens, it's 156 minutes of shutout hockey. It's a long season and it will be great to have Jonathan Quick back fron injury in a month or so, but if Ben can keep his form, the Kings will be just fine for a while.
More from Jewels From The Crown:
- Game Day #21: Kings @ Rangers Preview
- Kings @ Devils: Grades and Analysis
- Recap: Ben Scrivens Blanks the Devils
- Gameday #17: Manchester Monarchs vs Norfolk Admirals
- Player Power Rankings III: Let's Talk About Tyler Toffoli