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Preview, Game Day #70: New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings

Haven't seen you in a while, Henrik!

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings

Time: 7:30 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, MSG

Enemy Reading: Blueshirt Banter

Los Angeles Kings

Lucic - Kopitar - Versteeg
King - Shore - Toffoli
Clifford - Carter - Brown
Pearson - Lecavalier - Lewis

Scuderi - Doughty
Muzzin - Martinez
McNabb - Schenn

Quick
(Enroth)

Injured: Gaborik, Greene, Nolan Scratched: McBain, Andreoff

New York Rangers

Nash - Brassard - Zuccarello
Kreider - Stepan - Fast
Miller - Staal - Hayes
Glass - Moore - Stalberg

McDonagh - Girardi
Staal - Boyle
Yandle - Klein

Lundqvist
(Raanta)

Injured: McIlrath Scratched: Lindberg

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Kings Rangers
Record 42-22-5 40-23-7
Points 89 87
Division Rank 1st 2nd
Streak Won 2 Won 1
Goals For/Game 2.75 2.84
Goals Against/Game 2.26
2.6
ES Goal % 54.5
57.2
ES Shot %
54.5 48.4
ES PDO 100.0
102.7
ES Corsi % 55.8 47.5
ES Fenwick % 55.7 58.3
ES Scoring Chance % 54.1 46.7
ES High-Danger SC % 53.9 46.2
Power Play % (Rank) 21.5 (8th)
18.3 (17th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 81.1 (17th)
77.2 (27th)
Starting Goalie (today) Quick Lundqvist
Goalie Record 35-17-4 31-18-5
Save % .921 .922
ES Save % .932 .941

Notes:

  • For the first time in a while, LA's record over their last ten games (7-2-1) is better than the records of both Anaheim (6-3-1) and San Jose (7-3-0). Only by a little, but still, better. LA has a four-point division lead and 13 games to protect it.
  • For the first time in a while, LA is at an even PDO, meaning their even-strength shooting percentage over the season is the same as their opponents'. For the best Corsi team in the league, that's good news.
  • New York's PDO, however, is sky-high and has been for a while. Why? See...
  • ... a lot of goalies are unpredictable. They have good years and not-so-good years. Henrik Lundqvist is not like a lot of goalies. He's on track for his seventh straight season with an overall save percentage of .920 or better, and at the age of 34, he's leading all starting goalies with a .941 SV% at even strength. (He still trails Jhonas Enroth, though!)
  • Of note: the Kings didn't face Lundqvist at all last year, and the first Kings-Rangers matchup featured Peter Budaj and Antti Raanta. So tonight is the first showdown between Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist since Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
  • (Sweet, we've met our quota for mentioning that game!)
  • The power play has cooled off lately, which isn't a problem when you're scoring five even-strength goals a game, but a turnaround would be nice. New York's struggling penalty kill offers an opportunity.
  • The schedule for the season's final month is a little weird; this is just a two-game homestand, followed by 3 road, 1 home, 1 road, 2 home, 2 road, and 2 home games. No more three-days-off nonsense either. Keeping momentum should be a bit easier, though. A third straight win will do that.
  • Ryan McDonagh took a shot to the side of the head as New York held off a furious Ducks charge in the final seconds last night, but it seems that he's not suffering any lasting effects. He's got a concussion history, so that's good to hear. (If he's playing tonight and he DOES have a concussion, well, that's terrible.)
  • PREDICTION: Kings 3, Rangers 2 (OT). Nick Shore with the winner off Dan Girardi's skate (because after the last bullet point, I shouldn't use "off the defender's face" in the preview anymore).