Anze Kopitar scored the tying goal on a deflection and the winner on a deflection in overtime to help the L.A. Kings to a big comeback win over the New York Rangers on Thursday.
After coming back for a 4-3 OT victory over the Rangers, the Kings have now won three games in a row, which puts them six points up on the Anaheim Ducks for the Pacific Division lead.
Kopitar’s tying goal was subject to a coach’s challenge for potential goalie interference, as Henrik Lundqvist had to deal with two Kings’ players — Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli — as well as two of his own defensemen in or around his crease.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that the actions of New York’s Ryan McDonagh caused Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli to contact Lundqvist before the puck crossed the goal line. The decision was made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 78.7 (ii) which states, in part, that the goal on the ice should have been allowed because “the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper.”
Therefore the original call stands – good goal Los Angeles Kings.
That was the second coach’s challenge of the third period. Darryl Sutter used his for possible goalie interference early in the period when the Rangers opened up a two-goal lead on a goal from Kevin Hayes.
This comeback versus the Rangers follows back-to-back road wins for the Kings over Central Division powers from Chicago and Dallas, which could be a sign of things to come for L.A. this spring.