Rangers hand Kings second New York loss in a row, 4-1

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
The Kings looked flat all night as they were handed their fourth consecutive loss in games against the Rangers.

The Kings headed into the second night of a back-to-back looking to get back in the win column and avoid their second loss on the road this season. Just like Saturday’s game against the Islanders, the first quarter saw no action and the teams headed into the second period scoreless. In the second, Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey would each score goals for New York to put them up 2-0. In the final frame, the Kings were able to strike first with a power play goal from Phillip Danault to cut the lead in half. The momentum would not last long, as the Rangers would score twice more before the game’s conclusion courtesy of Jonny Brodzinski and Will Cuylle. It was an overall flat performance from the Kings, who are now on their first multi-game losing streak since November 11th.

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

Jonathan Quick shuts down the Kings in his revenge game

After spending 16 long years with the Los Angeles Kings, goalie Jonathan Quick finally got his chance to face off against the team that he called home for so long. In what was his first career game against the Kings, he put on a very clutch performance. He became just the sixth goaltender in the history of the NHL to win his first game against a former team after playing in at least 500 games for them. The 37-year-old was able to save 25/26 shots as he kept Los Angeles out of the net for almost the entire contest.

Some of Quick’s best saves against the Kings.

On the season, he’s put together a remarkable 8-0-1 record that has significantly helped the Rangers in their first-place season thus far. After the game, Quick shared his thoughts regarding the moment and how it felt to play against his former team.

“Obviously it’s special,” he said. “This summer when the schedule comes out, you know when you’re playing them.” It was certainly a day filled with many emotions for him, and unfortunately for the Kings, he was able to get the best of them. The Kings and Rangers will face off once more in the regular season on January 20th, which will give Quick and the Kings another potential chance to battle it out.

Kings allow 2 power play goals

Entering Sunday night’s contest against the Rangers, the Kings had successfully killed 39 out of their last 41 penalties dating back to November 4th against the Philadelphia Flyers. Their 89.5% PK (penalty-killing) percentage was good for second-best in the league. It is the first time in franchise history that the team had allowed eight or fewer power-play goals through their first 24 games to open a season. However, the Rangers were able to take advantage of the power play multiple times on Sunday evening. They scored their first power-play goal of the night in the second period as Mika Zibanejad knocked in his seventh score of the season. The second power-play goal came in the third period as Jonny Brodzinski scored his very first goal of the season to extend New York’s lead to 3-1.

After starting the season with very-strong power play defense, it was certainly an unusual night for Los Angeles. They will need to do a better job at killing their penalties once again moving forward if they want to end the losing streak and get back in the win column.

Drew Doughty’s point streak comes to an end

Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty entered Sunday night’s game on a four-game point streak, which has included game-winning goals in back-to-back games (against Columbus and Montreal). It was just the second time in his career that he had scored game-winning goals in back-to-back contests. The only other Kings’ defenseman in history to accomplish such a feat is Larry Murphy. Looking to add another point tonight against the Rangers and mark his ninth different point streak of at least five games in his career, the streak came to an end. Doughty finished the game with just 2 shots and a +/- of -1. Despite the streak coming to a close, he has been one of the most important pieces on the Los Angeles roster this season and the team will continue to lean on him to play great defense as well as provide a consistent attack. He is currently tied for the 5th most scores on the team this year (7), and tied for seventh on the team in assists (8).

The Kings will now head back to Los Angeles as they have a couple of days off before hosting the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday evening. Just like the Rangers, the Jets are another first-place team (16-8-2) that will present a tough challenge. The squad will have to bring their A-game if they wish to stop the losing streak from reaching three games.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. PT.