New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 10th 2023

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The Los Angeles Kings saw their historic road winning streak end on a breakaway goal by the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

The same night, the New York Rangers authored another dud for their first losing streak of a strong opening two-plus months.

On Sunday night, the Kings will try to begin a new road winning streak while the Rangers will hope to avoid a third straight defeat when the teams convene at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Los Angeles was close to starting the season with 12 straight road wins but wound up blowing a two-goal lead. They settled for a point when Cam Talbot allowed Jean-Gabriel Pageau to score on a breakaway 13 seconds into overtime of a 3-2 road loss to the Islanders after conceding a pair of goals to Anders Lee on rebounds.

The Kings had scored at least three goals in winning each of their first 11 road games, but only Adrian Kempe and Vladislav Gavrikov scored Saturday in a game in which Los Angeles had 36 shots on goal.

Instead of getting the two points, the Kings settled for exceeding the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres by one game for the longest road winning streak to open a season. Los Angeles also is 8-1-1 in its past 10 contests since consecutive home defeats to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers from Nov. 9-11.

“We didn’t come in and say we’ve got to get to 12 here after winning 11 in Montreal,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We just worry about our game. It’s as simple as that. Tomorrow nobody is going to ask me about it, which is fine.”

The Rangers will be in a better mood if they can prevent the Kings from getting two points, especially how recent results have looked. The Rangers followed Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to Ottawa with a 4-0 setback to Washington on Saturday in their first shutout defeat of the season as New York gave up the first goal 43 seconds into the game.

“It was not good from the start to the finish, so no sense dissecting it here publicly,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said after the loss. “We’ve got a game tomorrow night, and we’ll need to be a lot better.”

Even before the two ugly defeats, the Rangers haven’t been as dominant as they were a few weeks ago. From Oct. 21 through Nov. 18, New York was 10-0-1, but since then the team is 6-4-0 and has allowed 36 goals.

On Saturday, the Rangers had 31 shots on goal but also got only one power-play chance and gave up three goals in the first 11:52 of the second period.

“I think it’s something we had early on, is kind of that competitiveness and a little bit of the edge, that separation maybe, I think that’s gotten a little complacent,” New York captain Jacob Trouba said. “Maybe let off the gas a little bit, and that’s something we’re going to find out. We can’t win that way, so we’ve got to get back to that fighting attitude, a little bit of anger in our game.”

New York also did not pull goalie Igor Shesterkin since Jonathan Quick is likely to start on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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