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game recap

Rangers shut out Kings, inch closer to playoff berth

Antti Raanta makes 30 saves; Los Angeles falls nine points back of second wild card in West

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The New York Rangers moved closer to clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

Rangers goaltender Antti Raanta had 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

 

WATCH: All Rangers vs. Kings highlights

 

"I tried to be more in the crease and just let the puck come to me," Raanta said. "It worked out pretty good."

Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, Derek Stepan, and Rick Nash scored goals and Mats Zuccarello had two assists for New York (46-25-4), which is 12 points ahead of the Boston Bruins for the first wild card from the Eastern Conference.

Video: Raanta earns Saturday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

The Kings (35-32-7) are nine points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card from the West.

"It was a pretty evenly-played game," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "We missed some chances 5-on-5 that were wide-open chances."

Stepan gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 13:02 of the second period.

McDonagh made it 2-0 four seconds after Andy Andreoff went to the penalty box for a double-minor high-sticking penalty. Zibanejad won a faceoff in the Kings zone and the puck came out to McDonagh, who shot through traffic and beat Jonathan Quick at 1:50 of the third period.

Nash scored his 21st goal of the season into an empty-net at 18:52 of the third to make it 3-0.

Quick made 17 saves and lost for the third time in his past four starts. The Kings have combined for five goals in that span.

The loss by the Kings allowed the Minnesota Wild to clinch a playoff berth in the West.

Video: NYR@LAK: McDonagh buries PPG through heavy traffic

 

Goal of the game

Zuccarello maintained possession after a hit by Alec Martinez in the Kings zone and passed the puck back to Brendan Smith. His slap shot went wide of the net, but it banked off the end boards and came out the other side, where Stepan beat Brayden McNabb to the puck and scored his 14th of the season.

Video: NYR@LAK: Stepan bangs home rebound off boards

 

Save of the game

Kings forward Jonny Brodzinski made his NHL debut and had one of the best scoring chances, but Raanta turned away his breakaway attempt at 10:37 of the second period and the Rangers took a 1-0 lead about 2 1/2 minutes later. "I'd like to see him score on the breakaway and so would he," Sutter said. "It would've been a big moment."

Video: NYR@LAK: Raanta robs Brodzinski on breakaway chance

 

Highlight of the game

Raanta made another save on a breakaway at 12:59 of the first period. Toffoli got loose after a faceoff in the other end, but Raanta made the stop and swept away the puck with Pearson closing in for the rebound.

Video: NYR@LAK: Raanta turns aside Toffoli's wrist shot

 

Unsung performance of the game

Rangers defenseman Nick Holden disrupted a breakaway by Toffoli midway through the second period and the game still scoreless. Holden also had one of two blocked shots during a Kings power play in the final minutes that became a two-man advantage when the Kings summoned Quick to the bench.

 

They said it

"He, no doubt, made all the timely saves tonight. We had some turnovers and they had some Grade A looks, and he made the saves." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Antti Raanta

 

Need to know

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi returned after missing 12 games because of an ankle injury and played 20:03. … Raanta is 17-2-1 on the road since Feb. 2016. … Stepan has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past eight games. ... Zuccarello has eight points (three goals, five assists) in the past seven. ... The Rangers lead the NHL with 27 road wins, one shy of their record set in the 2014-15 season. ... The Kings have scored 180 goals this season. Only the Colorado Avalanche (145), New Jersey Devils (170) and Vancouver Canucks (171) have scored fewer.

 

What's next

Rangers: At the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; PRIME, MSG, NHL.TV)

Kings: At the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-W, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Raanta, Rangers shut out Kings on the road, 3-0

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