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game recap

Pearson pushes Kings past Rangers in overtime

Kopitar gets hat trick to help end New York winning streak

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

Pearson's game-winning goal

LAK@NYR: Pearson delivers win with game-winning goal

2/12/16: Tanner Pearson scores the game-winning goal in overtime on a snap shot, sending the Kings to a 5-4 win over the Rangers

  • 00:49 •

NEW YORK -- Tanner Pearson scored in overtime, Anze Kopitar had a hat trick, and Peter Budaj got his first NHL win in almost two years when the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers 5-4 at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

Pearson scored at 3:10 of overtime, after Kopitar scored his third of the game with 30 seconds left in the third period to tie it 4-4.

Kopitar scored 33 seconds into the game to give the Kings a 1-0 lead, and at 15:46 of the second to make it 3-3. It was his first hat trick since a 4-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 11, 2011.        

"Getting a goal on the first shift of the game definitely helps," Kopitar said. "I thought we were just strong on the puck overall. [Thursday] we were just turning the puck all over at wrong spots on the ice and it ended up costing us (in a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders). ... I think the last [hat trick] was in Columbus. I remember it a little bit, but it feels good now."

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he was impressed with all aspects of Kopitar's play.

Video: LAK@NYR: Kopitar ties game late, gets hat trick

"This was his best game this season, that's for sure, not just because he scored three goals but it was his best game all-around in terms of using the whole package," Sutter said. "He was a pretty dominant player."

Kopitar's 14th, 15th and 16th goals helped Budaj get his first NHL win since April 4, 2014, when he was with the Montreal Canadiens.

Budaj, who was recalled from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Thursday under emergency conditions because Jonathan Quick was injured Tuesday, made his first NHL start since April 9, 2014. His last NHL appearance was for the Montreal Canadiens against the Rangers in the 2014 Eastern Conference Final (May 17).  

"It was very nice to come back. I was very excited," Budaj said. "Madison Square Garden, Friday night, L.A. Kings vs. Rangers. I don't think it could be better than that.

"The guys battled so hard for me and I really appreciate it. That's a credit to them. We were down [with] four minutes left at Madison Square Garden and we came back and won the game. It's a huge team win for us. "

Video: LAK@NYR: Kopitar ties it up with second goal of game

Budaj was 0-9-6 with a 3.55 goals-against average in 19 games with St. John's of the AHL last season before signing a two-way contract with the Kings this offseason. He was 26-9-3 with a 1.58 GAA in 38 games with Ontario.  

"If you're going to come back to the NHL, it's not up to you. It's up to the coaching staff and organization, they have to give you a shot. You have to show them on the ice," Budaj said.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead with 4:46 remaining in the third period on a power-play goal. Mats Zuccarello did most of the work, fighting off a defender and skating from the wall toward the net before sending Hayes a pass across the ice for an easy tip past Budaj.

The Kings (33-18-3) are 2-1-0 on a season-high seven-game road trip. They are 8-0-1 in the second game of a back-to-back and 15-6-0 following a loss this season. Los Angeles leads the Pacific Division by eight points over the San Jose Sharks.

"You can't lose back-to-back with how close our division is too," said Pearson, who scored his seventh. "It takes a couple of losses in a row and everyone is right back in the mix. I think we want to try and keep distancing ourselves from the pack and keep on winning games."

Video: LAK@NYR: Kopitar scores in opening minute

The Rangers (31-18-6) had a four-game winning streak end.

"You have a lead in the last two minutes, you want to nail down two points absolutely," New York defenseman Marc Staal said. "That 3-on-3, it's touch-and-go sometimes. It's great obviously when you win and it's a heartbreak when you lose. We do get a point against a good team that's been playing well. We just have to take the positives from it and don't let it deflate us."

Los Angeles is 8-1 in overtime this season.

"We've had good luck 3-on-3," Sutter said. "Our record is right there and that is probably why we are in a playoff spot right now."

Rangers goalie Antti Raanta, making his first start since Jan. 17, made 29 saves. He has not won since Nov. 15 (0-5-1).

Video: LAK@NYR: Zuccarello feeds Hayes for tie-breaking PPG

"It's tough to take the loss, it's real tough," Raanta said. "Usually you could just say you'll keep on working, but now I know that's also very hard to do, but we need to go home and get some rest. Hopefully tomorrow is a new day and it's a better day hopefully."

Viktor Stalberg, Derek Stepan and Zuccarello scored for New York. Rangers forward Rick Nash (bone bruise) missed his eighth game, and defenseman Ryan McDonagh (concussion) missed his third.

Kings forward Marian Gaborik sustained a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. He left the game with 4:52 remaining after a knee-on-knee hit with Rangers forward Dominic Moore. Sutter didn't have an update after the game.  

Gaborik, who played for the Rangers for parts of four seasons from 2010-13, scored on the power play to give the Kings a 2-0 lead at 11:26 of the first period. It was his 10th goal in 13 games against New York.

Video: Pearson nets OT winner, Kopitar gets hat trick

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