The Los Angeles Kings are coming to the East coast to try to break out of their losing streak, and they’ll try to do that on Broadway ways as they go into Madison Square Garden to match up against the New York Rangers.
It won’t be easy to just walk into MSG on a Monday night and take down the Rangers. They’ll have a big job to do since the Rangers are coming off a hard fought win last night 1-0 on the road against the pesky Detroit Red Wings.
Half way through, LA has had a disappointing season by their typical standards and so they’ll be working hard to get back on track and back into the race in for the Pacific division. Star player Jeff Carter is having a sensational season statistically but they’ll need more than one player’s stellar performance to get the team to the post-season.
Los Angeles will probably put Petr Budaj in net since Jonathan Quick is out, and he’ll face off against another back up in Antii Raanta who is slated to start after Henrik Lundqvist played last night.
The Rangers are confident and feeling good scoring an overtime goal to beat the Wings and now they’re returning home to change their shoddy home ice record. In the standings, hey are fighting tooth and nail with the Blue Jackets, Capitals, and Penguins for the advantage in the Metro division which will be the best and most exciting division to watch down the stretch.
New York has played well against the Pacific division and are 25-9 in their last 34 against games versus that group. That includes against the Kings, so the Rangers are slight favourites tonight at home against them.
The Kings have a poor record in their last 5 on the road, at 1-4 against Eastern Conference teams. The Rangers are 50-22 in their last 72 home games overall. The Kings really need a convincing win but it’s doubtful the Rangers could feel stronger and better than on home ice after a big win.
The Kings are three points out of a playoff spot going into Monday’s game.
“Yeah. I mean, I thought we had a really good start to the game,” Carter said to media on their last game. “Did a lot of good things except put the puck in the net. That’s been an issue for us all year. You know, we get one or two in that first it could be a different game, right? Showed a lot to battle back but we come up with nothing so it’s tough.
“I think we did a lot of good things but at the end of the day you’ve got to win games and last night we lost ground. I don’t know what happened tonight but we’ve got to get these next three games. We’re starting to drop back too much so we’ve got to keep her going.”
“We’ve got to play desperate hockey right now,” Carter said. “We need all the points we can get. We’re going to need all hands on deck here and we’ve got to get rolling. We’ve got to clean up a few things and start putting up some points.”
It definitely won’t be easy against the Rangers, who’ve been an unpredictable anomoly this season, and have their star goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, back on his game. Even with backups it will be tough to beat New York at home.