LA Kings on Brink of Playoff Elimination

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The Kings playoff chances are sinking faster than you can say, “Go Kings Go!”

Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Rick Nash all scored as the New York Rangers shutout the Los Angeles Kings 3-0, on Saturday night at Staples Center.

L.A. needs every point they can pick up as their chances of making the NHL playoffs continue to sink with every loss they receive.

As of Saturday night, the Kings would need to win five more games in their final eight than the St. Louis Blues who have a favorable schedule down the stretch with two games each against the Coyotes and Avalanche. 

Once again, it was the offense that failed the Kings on Saturday night. New York’s All-Star goalie, Henrik Lundqvist was out with an injury, and the Kings offense could not conjure a goal against backup goalie Antti Raanta.

“We had our chances and we didn’t score. That’s been a problem for us all year long,” said the Kings best offensive player this season, Jeff Carter. “If I knew why, we wouldn’t be in this situation, but when you don’t score, you don’t win too many games.”

Raanta made 30 saves, shutting out the Kings for the 10th time this season despite L.A. firing more shots than the Rangers, 30 to 20.

After a scoreless first period, Stepan put the Rangers on the board when he knocked Brendan Smith’s shot that bounced off the boards and right to Stepan on the left side of the net.

New York made it 2-0 in the third period just four seconds after Andy Andreoff was put in the penalty box for a double-minor for a high-stick to the face of Pavel Buchnevich. The Rangers captain blasted a slap shot as soon as the power play started and the puck bounced between Jonathan Quick’s legs and into the net for the goal.

Nash added an empty-net goal late in the third period, it was his 21st of the season.

Quick took the loss, stopping just 17 shots. Kings’ center Johnny Brodzinski made his NHL debut and attempted three shots on goal.

“We lost. That seems to be happening a lot lately,” said Quick. “We just have to try and win the next one and not worry about the standings.”

The loss puts the Kings nine points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference with just eight games remaining in the season.


The Kings travel to Canada for a three-game road trip against Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver next week.

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