Game Preview: Rangers vs. Kings

By David Kolb

LOS ANGELES KINGS (22-20-4) @ NEW YORK RANGERS (30-16-1)
Live game coverage starts at 6:30 PM on MSG

FIRST OF TWO

The Rangers host the LA Kings tonight in the first of two tilts between the clubs this season. The Blueshirts take the ice having won two in a row, including Sunday’s 1-0 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Kings, meanwhile, have struggled, losing three straight games, including Saturday’s five-game road trip opener against the Islanders.

MILLER TIME

J.T. Miller scored the game-winning overtime goal Sunday in Detroit and has now recorded the game-winning tally in each of the last two contests. He’s potted four goals in his past five games and has 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points in 47 games this season. Miller has also notched a point in nine of the last ten games, tallying 12 points (seven goals, five assists) during that stretch.

MORE MATS

Mats Zuccarello set up Miller on the game-winning goal Sunday, giving him seven assists in his past five contests. In 47 games this season, Zuccarello has 29 assists, only six short of eclipsing last season’s total of 35 and 12 of his career-high of 40 set in 2013-14.

CARTER A ROAD WARRIOR

Kings leading goal-scorer Jeff Carter lit the lamp Saturday vs. the Islanders, giving him two goals and two assists in the past five games. The goal was Carter’s 24th of the season, which matches his goal total from all of last season. Carter has 10 points in nine games in January and has been outstanding on the road all season, potting 14 goals in 23 contests.

BRADY BOOM

Brady Skjei has been fantastic in his first full season as a regular Ranger blueliner. Skjei has recorded three points in his past two games after picking up an assist on Sunday’s game-winning goal. It was Brady’s 20th point of the season, which made him the first Rangers’ defenseman to record at least 20 points in his rookie season since Michael Del Zotto in 2009-10.