LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dan Boyle had a goal and an assist, Cam Talbot made 28 saves and the New York Rangers held off the Los Angeles Kings for a 4-3 victory Thursday night in a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup Final.
Kevin Klein, Lee Stempniak and Martin St. Louis scored in a 5:46 span of the second period for the Rangers, who erased an early two-goal deficit and completed a Southern California sweep with their 12th win in 13 games overall.
Justin Williams scored two goals for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who returned from a four-day break with an inconsistent defensive effort.
Jonathan Quick stopped 22 shots, but his teammates struggled to keep up with the Rangers’ speed and precision for parts of Los Angeles’ fourth loss in five games.
Tanner Pearson scored in the first period for Los Angeles. Williams got his second goal with 4:03 to play while the Kings dominated the third period, but Talbot held on during the Kings’ 6-on-4 advantage in the final 35.9 seconds.
Derick Brassard had two assists for the Rangers, who are on their longest streak of regular-season success in two decades. New York looked sharp and motivated in its first appearance at Staples Center since June 13, when Alec Martinez’s double-overtime goal in Game 5 of the finals clinched the Kings’ second NHL title in three years.
Los Angeles won three overtime home games in that series, with the Rangers lamenting their repeated inability to score clutch goals. A season later, New York cemented its spot as one of the league’s top teams with back-to-back victories over the Anaheim Ducks and the Kings, two Stanley Cup contenders.
Talbot overcame a rocky start to win in just his second start in New York’s last 13 games behind Henrik Lundqvist.
The Kings led 2-0 just 5:49 in on goals by Pearson, who snapped his 11-game goal drought since Dec. 11, and a rocket of a shot by Williams, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy with a clutch series against the Rangers.
Boyle scored 5 seconds into a power play when his slap shot deflected off Jarret Stoll’s stick and bounced high to beat Quick.
The Rangers got rolling shortly after the break. Klein and Stempniak scored 19 seconds apart in the second period, both on tough-to-stop shots created by New York’s aggression and movement. Stempniak’s goal was his first in 12 games since Nov. 29.
St. Louis scored unobstructed on a rebound a few minutes later, setting off a few boos in the sellout crowd.
Williams swatted a rebound out of midair past Talbot in the third for his second multigoal game of the season.
NOTES: New York completes its three-game California road trip in San Jose on Saturday night. Boyle will face the Sharks for the first time since they declined to re-sign him last summer. … Rangers LW Tanner Glass was a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game. … The Kings reached the midway point of their season in a seventh-place tie with Winnipeg in the Western Conference standings.
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