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After Tough Loss, Rangers Open Cali Trio in LA

With the New York Knicks’ tilt against the Los Angeles Lakers getting out of hand for the visiting New Yorkers, it’s up to the New York Rangers to defend the East Coast’s honor.

The latter will open up a three game California swing tonight at Staples Center, taking on the Los Angeles Kings in the second half of a back-to-back (10:30 PM, MSG).

The first half of these consecutive trips didn’t end well for the Rangers (24-18-5), who fell 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center yesterday afternoon, becoming the ninth victim of Colorado’s current winning streak. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves, but the Colorado onslaught broke through twice, as Erik Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon had the tallies. Pavel Buchenvich had the long Rangers tally, cutting the Colorado lead in half on a power play goal. The Rangers were unable to cut further into the lead, however, and Mikko Rantenen put the game away with an empty netter.

The Rangers will look to win against a reeling Kings team, one that hasn’t earned a point over their past six games. Their latest defeat came in their home state, falling 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. Alex Iafallo had the lone Los Angeles score to tie the score, but Ryan Kesler put in a game winner minutes later.

The Rangers will look to sweep the Kings in their yearly pair, winning 4-2 on December 15. After Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes goals were followed up by scores via Marian Gaborik and Torrey Mitchell, but Rick Nash put in the winner, while JT Miller sealed matters with an empty netter.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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