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game recap

Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers fend off Kings

Goalie makes 36 saves to help hand Los Angeles fourth straight loss

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist has rediscovered his game and the New York Rangers are winning again.

Lundqvist made 36 saves to help the Rangers defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 at Madison Square Garden on Monday for their third straight victory following a three-game losing streak.

The Rangers (31-16-1) have allowed four goals during the streak after allowing 16 in their three straight losses. Lundqvist has stopped 80 of 84 shots during the winning streak after allowing all 16 goals on 76 shots during the losing streak.

"I simplified my focus I think three games ago; it helps me be on my toes a little bit," Lundqvist said. "The way I can describe it is I just try to simplify everything and have a little higher readiness than before. But this game, especially for me, is so much the way I think, the way I read the game and stay in the moment. So I just try to simplify it and then adding with the way we're playing right now in the last three [games], blocking shots and really trying to play a better defensive game, obviously that helps me."

 

WATCH: All Kings vs. Rangers highlights

 

The Rangers did all of that against the Kings. They were outshot 38-17 and the Kings finished with an 80-35 advantage in total shot attempts, but New York blocked 25 shots and forwards Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel and Mats Zuccarello all scored off of turnovers.

Zuccarello's goal, the game-winner, came at 6:40 of the third period after Jeff Zatkoff gave the puck away to J.T. Miller.

Video: LAK@NYR: Miller, Zuccarello combine for nifty goal

"The few mistakes they made we capitalized and that was a good sign," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "We gave up a lot of shots, but a lot of their success is on front of net plays and that was a good job by us clearing it out."

Los Angeles (22-21-4) has lost four games in a row, all in regulation. Zatkoff made 14 saves, and Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford scored. The Kings have seven goals during their losing streak.

"We have good game plans going into each game and when we execute them we're a good team," Kings forward Tanner Pearson said. "When we don't we can be sloppy at times, turning pucks over and it costs us some goals at moments."

Video: LAK@NYR: Lundqvist robs Carter with a great pad save

As much as Lundqvist was on his game and making big saves, he still felt a turning point was late in the second period, when he got some help from the left post.

Nolan made it 2-1 at 18:01 with a shot from the left circle that deflected into the net off of Lundqvist's glove. Dwight King nearly tied it 33 seconds later, but his redirection of Derek Forbort's wraparound hit off the post and bounced into the slot.

Video: LAK@NYR: Nolan cranks a slap shot past Lundqvist

"They throw pucks and they keep coming with a lot of different guys," Lundqvist said. "It was a challenging game, but a fun game."

 
Goal of the game

Puempel, who missed the past eight games with a concussion, moved to a line with Derek Stepan and Zuccarello midway through the second period. He scored on their second shift together, one-timing a 2-on-1 pass from Stepan into the net to give New York a 2-0 lead at 13:28.

Video: LAK@NYR: Puempel finishes a two-on-one rush

 
Saves of the game

Lundqvist made three consecutive saves during a Kings' power play in the third period when New York's lead was 2-1. He stopped Drew Doughty's wrist shot with his glove, and then made back-to-back pad saves on Doughty from the right side and Carter in front.

 

Highlight of the game

Lundqvist made a glove save on Jeff Carter's shorthanded breakaway at 18:29 of the first period.

"The teams that are winning, you look at those teams and the one common denominator is goaltending and the one common denominator in goaltending is that timely save," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "Timely saves are a big part of this, a big part of momentum, a big part of confidence."

Video: LAK@NYR: Lundqvist stones Carter's shorthanded chance

 
Unsung performance of the game

Kevin Klein fought Brayden McNabb and made several strong defensive plays, including at 11:33 of the second, when he knocked the puck off of Dustin Brown's stick, negating a potential scoring chance.

 

They said it

"We stayed patient. We didn't panic, even though maybe they had more puck and they created a little bit more. We had the lead and as long as we had the lead there was no need for us to take chances or overdo things. So they key was just to stay patient and know we're going to get a couple more chances, and in the end it was one mistake that was the difference." -- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist

Video: LAK@NYR: Lundqvist turns aside a barrage of shots

 
Need to know

Vigneault became the 18th coach in NHL history to coach 1,100 games. He has 597 career wins. … Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (concussion) has been cleared for contact but isn't expected to play before next week. Staal missed his eighth straight game.

 
What's next

Kings: At the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Rangers: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lundqvist leads Rangers to 3-2 victory over Kings

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