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game recap

Shesterkin makes 42 saves, Rangers defeat Kings

Rookie goalie gets fifth victory in six starts; Los Angeles has lost five straight

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

Shesterkin shuts down Toffoli

LAK@NYR: Shesterkin makes strong series of saves

Igor Shesterkin stops a tip-in opportunity from Tyler Toffoli, then turns aside a follow-up chance in the 1st period

  • 00:30 •

NEW YORK -- Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves, and the New York Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Kaapo Kakko scored his first goal in 14 games for the Rangers (27-23-4), who are 4-2-0 since the All-Star break and moved to within nine points of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Greg McKegg, Artemi Panarin and Tony DeAngelo also scored for New York.


[WATCH: All Kings vs. Rangers highlights]


Shesterkin has won three straight starts and five of his first six in the NHL since the Rangers recalled the rookie goalie from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Jan. 6.

"If you're going to be great you better know you're great, and he knows he's great," Rangers coach David Quinn said of the rookie goalie. "Thinking your great isn't ego, that's confidence and that's swagger, and he's got all of that."

Video: LAK@NYR: Panarin hammers home rebound on the rush

Quinn indicated that Shesterkin will continue to start regularly because he's been the most consistent of the Rangers three goalies, including Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev.

"The best guy is going to continue to play," Quinn said. "Keeping people sharp is no longer a high priority of ours. It's going to be winning hockey games and the guy who plays well is going to keep playing."

Trevor Moore scored his first goal in his second game with the Kings (19-33-5), who acquired the forward in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. 

Video: LAK@NYR: Moore finds twine after precise skate carom

Los Angeles lost its fifth game in a row and is 1-9-1 in its past 11. Moore's goal ended the Kings scoring drought at 143:03.

"I don't know how [losing] couldn't be wearing on guys," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "I mean, everyone's talking around here, you know, stay positive, keep working, all that kind of stuff. That's what we're trying to do but when you just keep losing it's hard to do it. We're all battling as hard as we can out there, there's no doubt about that. We're just not getting any results and we're not putting 60 minutes together it seems like ever."

McKegg gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 2:23 of the first period by capitalizing from the left circle after Jonathan Quick (37 saves) misplayed the puck behind the net.

Video: LAK@NYR: McKegg nets loose puck after trailing play

The puck hit off Quick's stick and caromed into the right circle, where Brett Howden got to it and made a touch-pass across to McKegg before Quick could get back in position.

"We'd like to have the first one back, of course," Kings coach Todd McLellan said. "We didn't want to start that way."

Kakko, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, made it 2-0 at 9:20 of the third period, ending a 13-game goal drought on a one-timer from in front of the net. It was his second goal in 34 games since Nov. 20 and his eighth of the season.

"[Feels] so good after such a long time," Kakko said. "Hopefully many more goals are coming."

Video: LAK@NYR: Kakko finishes slick pass in close

Kakko has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past four games.

"I just like the fact that he's going to the net," Quinn said. "The assist he got the other night he was around the net. He gets a goal being at the net. He's just playing with more pace and more confidence. He's been much better defensively the last few games."

Moore made it 2-1 at 10:47 of the third period, scoring from the left circle after his line, including Blake Lizotte and Austin Wagner, created a chance with their speed off the rush and to the puck behind the net.

"There's three guys there that can skate, and they have a tenacity," McLellan said. "If they get to the point where they have some polish around the net, they'll be very dangerous because they do create chances and they haven't given up much over the last little bit."

Panarin scored his 28th goal of the season at 17:11 to make it 3-1, and DeAngelo scored into the empty net 38 seconds later for the 4-1 final.


They said it

"I feel like we have such a good system and pieces in place that we're looking for more of an improvement this year. It seems like we have improved, but not as much as we would like. Sometimes it's more frustrating when you think you have a better team than the results you're getting." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty

"We had great contributions tonight I thought from everybody. We have to get on a run here and tonight's template is another sign of a team that is maturing. We're trying to find ways to get wins and I was really proud of our effort today." -- Rangers forward Ryan Strome


Need to know

Shesterkin is the first rookie goalie in Rangers history to get a win in five of his first six NHL appearances. … Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei played his 300th NHL game, all with New York.


What's next

Kings: Host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1)

Rangers: At the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET: TSN3, MSG, NHL.TV)

Video: Shesterkin leads Rangers to 4-1 win against Kings

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