Anze Kopitar scored a short-handed goal and Jonathan Quick made 20 saves in the Los Angeles Kings' seventh straight victory, 2-1 over the punchless New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
Ryan Smyth scored with 8:46 to play for the Kings, who are on their longest winning streak since early 1992, when Wayne Gretzky's Kings won a franchise-record eight straight.
Marian Gaborik scored with 2:37 left to ruin Quick's shutout bid, but New York lost its sixth in seven games despite the arrivals of forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust, acquired in a trade with Calgary less than 24 hours earlier.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 19 shots for New York, which had a handful of tantalizing chances after Gaborik scored his fourth goal in two games.
But not even a trade for two tough forwards could spark the Rangers, who had scored just five goals during a five-game skid before Sunday's 3-1 win at Colorado. Gaborik had a hat trick in the victory, but the Kings largely shut down his new line in the Rangers' final stop of a Western road swing.
After winning five straight road games on the lengthy trip necessitated by the Grammys occupying Staples Center, the Kings returned home to a sellout crowd mostly cheering for them, and not the always-popular Rangers. With gritty wins over Buffalo, Detroit, Boston and New Jersey, Los Angeles reclaimed its stride during the trip, which followed a lackluster seven-game homestand.
Jokinen and Prust made their Rangers debuts after Monday night's trade with Calgary sent Christopher Higgins and Ales Kotalik to the Flames. The Rangers immediately got what they expect from Prust, the rambunctious forward who is second in the NHL with 18 fighting majors.
Less than eight minutes into his first game, he put a nasty check on Jack Johnson, running the Los Angeles defenseman horizontally into the boards behind his net for a penalty. Prust then drew an instigator penalty, a fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct for a brief bout with Brandon Segal midway through the second period.
After 36 scoreless minutes, Kopitar scored on a 2-on-1 break after a turnover. After a midseason swoon, the Kings' first-quarter NHL scoring leader has 11 points during the winning streak.
Smyth then capitalized on a slick, short pass by Kings captain Dustin Brown past frozen Rangers defenseman Michal Roszival, roofing a quick shot for his 17th goal.
The Rangers finally scored when Erik Christensen flipped a pass in front for Gaborik, who deflected it home from the lip of the crease for his 34th goal.
NOTES: The oft-traded Jokinen played his first two NHL seasons with the Kings, who drafted the Finnish forward with the third overall pick in 1997. Los Angeles eventually traded him for Ziggy Palffy. ... Jokinen and Prust both played in Calgary on Monday before learning of the trade, but both made it to Los Angeles before this game. ... Dodgers RF Andre Ethier dropped the ceremonial first puck.
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