Rangers Get Nashty In Big Win Over Kings

New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) checks Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford (13) as Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) deflects the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Rick Nash’s continuous scoring chances and general strong play this season have made it an absolute travesty he only has nine goals this season.

His latest, however, went into the net at the perfect time.

Nash’s unassisted goal in the late stages of Friday night’s game gave the Rangers a key interconference win, as they took down the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 at Madison Square Garden.

Taking on the Pacific Division leading Kings in the midst of their annual East coast visits, the Rangers (17-12-3) jumped out to an early lead, as Chris Kreider put in a power play goal seconds before Jussi Jokinen ended his sin bin visit for hooking. Partaking in his 199th game in blue, Kreider’s score was good for the 100th regular season tally of his NHL career.

However, in the early stages of the second, the Rangers not only allowed a former comrade to score, but witness an even bigger form of history. Veteran Marian Gaborik, a Ranger from 2009-13, scored to tie the game at one apiece, earning the mark in his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 314th player in league history to reach that plateau. The MSG crowd gave him a warm ovation when the videoboard commemorated the mark.

The Rangers would earn the lead back on a score by Kevin Hayes, but Los Angeles (20-10-3) knotted it once more when Gaborik earned the primary assist on a goal scored by Torrey Mitchell. As the minutes waned, however, that’s when Nash took over.

Earning great scoring chances all night, Nash finally solved Jonathan Quick when he intercepted a Christian Folin pass and faced down the Kings’ defense single-handedly before firing a shot that provided the Ranger victory.

The Kings put some pressure back into the Rangers zone, but Henrik Lundqvist made the last of his 33 saves before JT Miller tallied an empty netter to wrap things up.

The teams will meet up once more on January 21 at Staples Center.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags549

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