NHL on NBCSN: Kings’ crucial road trip continues tonight in New York


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign tonight as the New York Rangers host the L.A. Kings at Madison Square Garden, starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The New York Rangers will look to add to their lead in the Presidents’ Trophy race Monday night when they play host to the L.A. Kings in the second and final meeting between last season’s Stanley Cup final participants.

New York (46-18-7) won the only other meeting between the two clubs 4-3 on Jan. 8.

The Rangers enter the game winners of seven of their last eight games while Kings (35-23-14) snapped a two-game skid with a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils Monday night.

Tonight is the second of a five-game road trip, which could make or break the Kings’ playoff aspirations.

The Kings currently sit outside the playoff picture trailing the Calgary Flames by two points for the third seed in the Pacific Division. L.A. is four points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

L.A. is looking to avoid being the first team since the 2006-07 Carolina Hurricanes to miss the playoffs the year after winning the Stanley Cup.

Mike Richards returned to the Kings’ lineup for the first time since Jan. 21 on Monday. The 30-year-old was a minus-1 in 11:41 of ice time in the win. Monday also marked the return of Alec Martinez to L.A.’s lineup. Martinez had been sidelined since Feb. 7 due to a concussion.

The Rangers are coming off a 7-2 thumping of the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night at the garden.

New York is 16-4-5 against the Western Conference and 11-1-1 against the Pacific Division.

The Rangers are 17-3-3 in 23 games since starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was sidelined due to a vascular injury. Cam Talbot is 15-3-3 with a 2.12 goals-against average in Lundqvist’s absence.

Jonathan Quick made 19 saves against the Devils last night. He is 6-3-2 with a 1.86 GAA and two shutouts while making 11 straight starts. Quick owns a 1.97 GAA while winning six of nine meetings with New York, including spring’s Stanley Cup final.

Goalie nods: Red-hot Schneider looks to deliver playoff blow to Kings


All the latest from the blue paint…

Schneider looks to stymie L.A.

The Los Angeles Kings are desperate for points in the Western Conference playoff chase, and will look to get two against one of the NHL’s most in-form goalies tonight at Prudential.

Cory Schneider gets the start for New Jersey, looking to continue what’s been an outstanding month of March; he’s gone 3-3-1 with a 1.94 GAA and .939 save percentage in seven starts, bumping his overall numbers on the season to .929 (second-best save percentage in the NHL) and 2.16 (fifth-best GAA).

The Kings have lost three of four and their offense has sputtered over that stretch, scoring just five times. That doesn’t bode well for a matchup against Schneider, who has held opponents to two goals or fewer in 25 of his last 31 appearances.

For L.A., no word yet on who’ll start but Jonathan Quick appears likely.


‘Hawks at ‘Canes: Corey Crawford vs. Anton Khudobin

Wild at Leafs: Devan Dubnyk vs. Jonathan Bernier

Sharks at Sens: Antti Niemi vs. Andrew Hammond

Sabres at Stars: Anders Lindback vs. Kari Lehtonen

Avs at Flames: Semyon Varlamov vs. Karri Ramo

Jets at Oilers: Ondrej Pavelec (probable) vs. Ben Scrivens

Video: Canucks earn crucial win over Kings in feisty Pacific Division tilt


Not only had the Vancouver Canucks lost three times to the L.A. Kings this season, heading into Saturday’s contest, but two of those three games hadn’t even really been close.

The Kings had dominated, the Canucks had wilted. That changed Saturday in a feisty tilt that had just about everything.

The Canucks finally exorcised their demons against the defending Stanley Cup champions in a crucial 4-1 victory. Vancouver scored four unanswered goals, including a pair of empty netters to clinch the win and two points that keeps them second in the Pacific Division.

The Canucks improve to 86 points, which puts them four ahead of L.A.

Eddie Lack was sensational, especially early in the first period. He made 25 saves, as it was the Canucks who had the large edge in shots on goal, with 42, against the league’s best five-on-five possession team.

The game turned early in the third period. In a tied game and his team already short-handed, Kings forward Tyler Toffoli was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for hitting Alex Burrows dangerously from behind.

Burrows was injured, but did return to the game late in the third period.

On the ensuing five-on-three power play, the Canucks scored on Radim Vrbata’s 27th goal of the season.

In another physical game, the Canucks managed to get to goalie Jonathan Quick.

In the second period, Quick got up swinging at Henrik Sedin after the Canucks captain jabbed for the puck just as Quick covered it up for a whistle.

As the scrum formed at one end, Lack rushed from his net to center ice before apparently being told by an official to stop right there, while Quick appeared to shout something down to the Canucks goalie.

“If he wanted it, I would have gone for sure,” said Lack.

Goalie Nods: The Hamburglar starts for the Sens

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Hammond looks to remain unbeaten in regulation

Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators will look for a sixth straight win tonight when they play host to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Hammond enters the game with a 12-0-1 record to go along with a 1.55 goals-against average since getting called up from Binghamton.

The Sens enter tonight’s action two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Since the last meeting between the Leafs and Senators (Jan. 21), Ottawa is 17-6-2 while Toronto has gone 5-17-3.

James Reimer gets the nod for the Leafs.


Blue Jackets at Flames: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Karri Ramo

Canucks at Kings: Eddie Lack vs. Jonathan Quick

Capitals at Jets: Braden Holtby vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Rangers at Hurricanes: Cam Talbot vs. Anton Khudobin

Islanders at Devils: Jaroslav Halak vs. Cory Schneider

Bruins at Panthers: Tuukka Rask vs. Roberto Luongo

Sharks at Canadiens: Antti Niemi vs. Carey Price

Sabres at Predators: Matt Hackett vs. Pekka Rinne

Blackhawks at Stars: Corey Crawford vs. Kari Lehtonen

Penguins at Coyotes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Mike Smith

Flyers at Oilers: Steve Mason vs. Ben Scrivens

Video: Kesler’s OT winner gives Ducks the victory over rival Kings


In a fiercely contested battle between California rivals on Wednesday, it was the Anaheim Ducks that came out ahead of the L.A. Kings. And it was Ryan Kesler’s milestone goal that pushed them to victory.

Kesler scored his 18th of the season and 200th career NHL goal, which was the game winner as the Ducks defeated the Kings by a final score of 3-2 in overtime.

Kesler, involved throughout this game, including trying to get under the skin of Marian Gaborik, was allowed to skate out from behind the net into a prime shooting position and beat Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot just 45 seconds into the extra period.

The Ducks trailed entering the third period. The first 40 minutes produced plenty of face-paced action and some massive hits, including the open-ice check Dustin Brown threw on Corey Perry, causing a melee near the benches.

But the Ducks scored twice in the first eight minutes of the third, including Jakob Silfverberg’s goal that gave Anaheim the lead. Quick was furious, as Ducks forward Nate Thompson went to the net on the rush, and it appeared the Kings’ goalie was blocked out for just a split second, and unable to get across to his left to make the save on Silfverberg.

The Kings move to within two points of the Vancouver Canucks for second place in the Pacific Division. But they also remain just one point up on the Calgary Flames.

The Canucks have a game in hand on both teams.