Mika Zibanejad
New York Post

The New York Rangers are defeated by the Los Angeles Kings for the second time this season, 4-3, in overtime.

  • New York Rangers 3 (22-22-8, 52 pts)
  • Los Angeles Kings 4 (21-27-4, 46 pts)
  • NHL, Final OT, Box Score
  • Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

Bunches of great New York Rangers overall play was overshadowed by the demons of the 2014 Cup Final.

Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, and Mika Zibanejad continued their hot streaks, but the Rangers failed to close out the Los Angeles Kings, falling 4-3 in overtime.

Though the Rangers dominated much of the play of the game, they could not pull away from the Kings despite grabbing the lead three times.

After tying the game with under a minute left, the Kings only needed 25 seconds of overtime after a Zibanejad shot off the post to remind Ranger fans of the failures of that Cup Final.

It all started after Kreider tipped home an Anthony DeAngelo pass to make it 1-0 Rangers to open the scoring. The goal for Kreider was his team-leading 24th of the season.

The Kings would go on to tie the game on a rush from Adrian Kempe after a rush from former Ranger Carl Hagelin and former New Jersey Devil Ilya Kovalchuk. The score remained that way heading into the second.

Tied at one, the Rangers were looking to get back on top, and they struck quickly.

Just 32 seconds into the second, after Jonathan Quick stopped a Zuccarello shot, Zibanejad poked home the rebound to give the Blueshirts the 2-1 lead. Zibanejad has picked up at least one point on each of the last 10 Ranger goals at that point.

With a goal and assist in this game, Zibanejad now has a career high in assists (31) and points (52).

Los Angeles would strike back with just over five minutes gone by in the third. Anze Kopitar on a feed from Kovalchuk launched a backhand past Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at two.

The Rangers once again needed to answer back and they did. But instead of the usual trio, it was Adam McQuaid on a shot from the point to make it 3-2 Rangers with just over 10 minutes left.

The goal was unassisted on a turnover from Hagelin and was McQuaid’s first as a Ranger and first goal since Feb. 18 of last year.

The Rangers had a late lead but the Kings once again reminded them of 2014 finals. With the goalie pulled, Adrian Kempe scored his second goal of the game to tie it with 59.6 seconds remaining. The game headed to overtime tied at three.

The Rangers came inches away from winning it after Zibanejad hit the post to open overtime. Immediately after, Tyler Toffoli scored just 25 seconds into the period. Once again the Rangers failed to close out the Kings late and they paid for it.

This was the second time the Kings beat the Rangers in a similar style to the 2014 final this season after the Rangers blew a two-goal lead and fell in Los Angeles. Like the series finale in 2014, Alec Martinez got the winner of that game.

The trio of Zuccarello, Zibanejad, and Kreider have scored 14 goals and 19 points for 33 points in their last six games they all appeared in the lineup at the same time.

The Blueshirts are looking to bounce back on Wednesday night when they face the Boston Bruins in an original six matchup at Madison Square Garden.

WPU Graduate. Die-hard Ranger fan. Pain loving Jet fan. Loves to make comic, movie and TV references. Born and raised in Central Jersey. Twitter @JohnnyLonny82 Instagram @JackKnife82