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game preview

Rangers at Kings preview

New York seeks fourth straight road win; Kopitar can tie Gretzky for fourth on L.A. points list

by Dan Greenspan / Independent Correspondent

RANGERS (15-11-3) at KINGS (11-18-2)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, MSG 2, NHL.TV 


The Game 

Anze Kopitar can tie Wayne Gretzky for fourth place on the Los Angeles Kings points list when the Kings face the New York Rangers at Staples Center on Tuesday. 

Kopitar needs one point to tie Gretzky (918) after he had a goal and an assist in the 4-3 loss at the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Kopitar went a season-high six games without a point before getting his seventh multipoint game. 

The Kings will try to avoid losing a season-high fifth straight game; they also lost four straight Oct. 24-30. Los Angeles is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games. 

The Rangers are 6-2-1 in their past nine games after a 5-0 win at the Vegas Golden Knights. It was the third straight road win for the Rangers, their longest such winning streak of the season.  


Players to watch

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist will make his first start since allowing four goals on 32 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights on Dec. 2. He is 5-6-3 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 14 games against the Kings.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past two games. 


They said it

"You need a good goalie to win games in this League, and we've got two right now." -- Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux  

"Obviously grew up rooting for him and the Rangers and was a big fan of his, so it's cool playing against him. But same time, you'd love to score against him and beat them." -- Kings defenseman Joakim Ryan on Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist 


Rangers projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Mika Zibanejad -- Kaapo Kakko  

Chris Kreider -- Filip Chytil -- Ryan Strome

Brendan Lemieux -- Brett Howden -- Pavel Buchnevich  

Brendan Smith -- Greg McKegg -- Jesper Fast 

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba   

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev 

Scratched: Micheal Haley 

Injured: Libor Hajek (knee) 


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown  

Adrian Kempe -- Blake Lizotte -- Austin Wagner

Kyle Clifford -- Jeff Carter -- Trevor Lewis   

Matt Luff -- Michael Amadio -- Tyler Toffoli  

Joakim Ryan -- Drew Doughty

Ben Hutton -- Matt Roy  

Kurtis MacDermid -- Sean Walker

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Paul LaDue, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikolai Prokhorkin

Injured: Alec Martinez (wrist), Derek Forbort (back) 


Status report

Forbort sustained a setback in practice during his conditioning assignment with Ontario of the American Hockey League, Kings coach Todd McLellan said. There is no timetable for when Forbort could return. … Martinez is recovering as expected but there is no update on when he will be able to resume hockey activities, McLellan said. 


Stat pack

The Rangers have a point in five straight road games (4-0-1) and are 6-3-1 in their past 10 away from Madison Square Garden. … Zibanejad has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past seven games. He has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 10 games against the Kings. … Kopitar has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 19 games against the Rangers.  

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