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Rangers Open Trip With Shutout Win Over Kings

Raanta Makes 30 Saves for Fourth Shutout of the Season

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

LOS ANGELES -- The first stop on the Rangers' three-game road trip through California ended as so many games in enemy territory have this season: with a win.

New York blanked the Los Angeles Kings, 3-0, Saturday at Staples Center for their NHL-leading 27th road victory of the year.

"I don't know why we're so successful on the road," said Derek Stepan, who opened the scoring with his 14th of the season midway through the second period that held up as the game-winner. "I can speak for this game. I thought we had six D and four lines playing really well, and on any given night you need strong goaltending and Antti was real solid for us back there."

Antti Raanta turned aside 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 16th win overall.

"The last couple games that I've played, I've been playing a little too aggressive," Raanta said. "I have been trying to be a little bit all over the place. I just tried to fix it a little bit today. I tried to be in the crease and just let the puck come to you. It worked out pretty good."

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

After facing just six shots in the opening period, Raanta was stellar in the middle frame when he made 14 saves, including a breakaway stop on Jonny Bordzinski with 9:24 left in the second.

The save loomed large, as Stepan's marker came just over four minutes later that gave the Rangers a lead they'd never relinquish. 

While it was Stepan who got the goal, it was Mats Zuccarello's work along in the corner that led to Stepan burying a carom off the end boards from a slapshot from Brendan Smith. 

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

"Our line, we always focus in on trying to get the puck into Zucc's hands," Stepan told "He uses his ability to get away from defenders so well and he did that the whole shift. We get a fortunate bounce off the end boards, but it's a heck of a shift by him."

New York would double the lead early on a power play goal by Ryan McDonagh 1:50 into the third. Andy Andreoff was given a double-minor for high-sticking Pavel Buchnevich, and the Rangers wasted little time capitalizing. 

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

Mika Zibanejad won the ensuing faceoff and Zuccarello fed McDonagh for the blast from the point for his sixth of the season.

Rick Nash iced the game with an empty-net goal with 1:08 left to put the Rangers up 3-0. It was his third goal in as many games.

Raanta, making his final start before Henrik Lundqvist returns to action Sunday night in Anaheim, saved his best for last when he stopped Drew Doughty with his pad late in the third period to preserve the team's then-two-goal lead.

Video: NYR@LAK: Raanta extends his pad to rob Doughty

"He got the puck in a surprise situation, so I just tried to be on top of the crease and take angles away," Raanta said of the stop on the defending Norris Trophy winner.

Coach Alain Vigneault often talks of the need for his goaltenders to make saves at big moments, and he said Raanta did just that in the victory.

"Well he no doubt made all the timely saves tonight," Vigneault said. "We had a few turnovers and he had some Grade-A looks, and he made the saves."

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