The Blueshirts are losers of four straight games and they’ll look to snap the skid against the Los Angeles Kings (5:00 P.M. on MSG)

RangersNHL RankingsKings
7thNHL Standing Rank8th
12th GF/PG11th


The Blueshirts have traded Vitaly Kravtsov to Vancouver for a 2026th seventh-round pick and William Lockwood.

Kravtsov was selected by the Rangers ninth overall in 2018 and it just didn’t work out between the two sides. Kravtsov is getting a fresh start and ultimately this will go down as poor asset management by the Rangers. Ultimately this move allows the Rangers to accrue some cap space for one last trade which many believe will be Patrick Kane from Chicago.

“It gives him a fresh opportunity,” said Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant. “He was a good kid here. He came and worked hard every day with us… We just couldn’t find a spot for him in our lineup.”

One other roster move the Blueshirts made was putting Jake Leschyshyn on waivers to help create additional cap space. This ultimately means the Blueshirts are currently stuck with a roster with eleven forwards and seven defensemen. Cap constraints could cause problems as the season progresses.

Rangers vs Kings

The Blueshirts will play the Los Angeles Kings just 24 hours after being defeated by the struggling Washington Capitals. The biggest worry comes on defense where Ryan Lindgren took a hit from T.J. Oshie in the first period and he would not return. Lindgren was seen leaving the arena with his left arm in a sling.

“Bad hit. Dirty hit,” Gallant said. “The guy had no chance to protect himself. I’m disappointed it wasn’t a penalty – a five-minute major.”

Gallant called Lindgren day-to-day, but if Lindgren is unavailable, the Blueshirts will likely be forced to play a player short at forward due to cap constraints and wanting to fit another player in the lineup such as the rumored Kane.

The Blueshirts have been very poor of late and the stats back it up: In the last five games, the Rangers penalty kill has allowed six goals on just 14 attempts. Los Angeles currently has the second-best power play in the NHL. The Rangers haven’t had a single lead in any of their last five games with one win coming in a shootout. In their four-game skid, the Blueshirts have been outscored 17-7 and they’ve allowed at least four goals in each of the past three games.

The Kings have quietly put together a solid season and they are looking to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. One reason for their success has been the surprisingly good play from goaltender Phoenix Copley. Copley entered the season as the third-string netminder in Los Angeles, but has since overtaken Cal Petersen and he has become the 1A choice in goal over the veteran Jonathan Quick. Copley has a record of 17-4-2 with a .902 save percentage.

While the Kings seem to win with Copley in the net, Los Angeles will turn to Quick in Madison Square Garden. Quick’s numbers are not as good as Copley’s as Quick has a record of 11-12-4 with a .879 save percentage.

Leading the Kings in points is Kevin Fiala with 63 in 60 games. Fiala has been a stellar addition to the Kings since being traded from Minnesota. In his first season with the Kings, Fiala has a chance of recording his highest point total in a single season which he set last season with 85 points.

The Rangers will be looking to get back on the right track and one person they need more from is their big acquisition Vladimir Tarasenko. Since joining the Rangers, Tarasenko has just four points in eight games and he has been an even play. While the Rangers don’t need the Russian winger to be the player he once was, there are times in recent games that he has been invisible and hasn’t offered much on offense despite playing significant minutes. The 31-year-old is still adapting to a new system, city, and teammates, but the Rangers will hope there is more to his game as the season winds down.

What to Watch

It will be interesting to see if the Rangers focus on the defensive side of the game Sunday evening. New York’s team defense has been atrocious in recent games and they’ve allowed power play goals in each of the previous six-games. The Rangers need to tighten up their game and get back to playing simple hockey. They’ve allowed at least four goals in each of the previous three games.

One last thing to keep an eye on is the lineup. If things don’t start going well, will Gallant mix up the lines including breaking up ‘The Kid Line?’ Rangers need a spark and will be quite interesting to see if a lineup change helps it.

Projected Lineup










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