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Kings at Rangers preview

Los Angeles 2-11-1 since Jan. 4; Shesterkin eyes third straight win for New York

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

KINGS (19-32-5) at RANGERS (26-23-4)

6 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG+, FS-W, NHL.TV


The Game

Igor Shesterkin will attempt to win his third straight start and fifth in the first six of his NHL career when the New York Rangers play the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Shesterkin made 27 saves in a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday after making 23 in a 4-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 31. All his starts have been at home since he was recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Jan. 6.

The Rangers are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. They are 11 points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

The Kings lost their fourth straight game in regulation Saturday, 3-0 at the New Jersey Devils. They are 1-8-1 in their past 10 games, 2-11-1 since Jan. 4 and last in the Western Conference with 43 points, 18 out of a playoff spot.


Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 20 games against the Rangers, but Los Angeles' leading scorer this season (47 points; 17 goals, 30 assists) has no points in his past three.

Rangers forward Chris Kreider has scored a goal in eight of his past 11 games.


They said it

"A lot of players have played a lot of games here lately, and they haven't hit the score sheet or even the chance sheet. You can't just play in the League. You've got to find a way to contribute and to compete in the League and we need some guys like that right now." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan

"It's tough to keep taking steps forward every game. It's a hard league. … It's a long season, we've got to play with a little more desperation here going forward and know that things are getting pretty tight." -- Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Adrian Kempe -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Trevor Moore -- Blake Lizotte -- Austin Wagner

Carl Grundstrom -- Michael Amadio -- Trevor Lewis

Joakim Ryan -- Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez -- Sean Walker

Ben Hutton -- Matt Roy

Jonathan Quick

Cal Petersen

Scratched: Kurtis MacDermid, Derek Forbort, Nikolai Prokhorkin

Injured: None


Rangers projected lineup 

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Phillip Di Giuseppe -- Filip Chytil -- Kaapo Kakko

Brett Howden -- Greg McKegg -- Brendan Lemieux

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Igor Shesterkin

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Alexandar Georgiev, Brendan Smith

Injured: Micheal Haley (muscle core surgery)


Status report

Neither team had a morning skate. … The Rangers announced Saturday that Haley will have surgery for a bilateral core muscle injury and the forward is out indefinitely.


Stat pack

Zibanejad has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in his past eight games. He needs one assist for 200 in the NHL. … Skjei will play his 300th NHL game, all with the Rangers.

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