LOS ANGELES — Chris Kreider scored twice in the third period, and the New York Rangers staged their first multigoal comeback of the season in a 5-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday.
“For us to kind of regroup and come back and put our foot on the gas, that’s definitely a good sign,” Kreider said.
Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Adam Fox each had two assists for the Rangers (10-6-4), who are 2-0-1 on their road trip, which concludes Wednesday at the Anaheim Ducks.
Igor Shesterkin made 35 saves and is 4-0-1 in his past five starts.
“We’re just sticking to it and just knowing that if we play the right way, we’re going to have success,” New York defenseman Ryan Lindgren said.
Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists, Gabriel Vilardi scored his NHL career-best 11th goal of the season, and Cal Petersen made 20 saves for the Kings (11-9-2), who had their five-game home winning streak end.
“Our game tonight has matched our year, where we’re inconsistent,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. “We’re up and down, whether it’s within a game, whether it’s two-game segments, one-game segments, back to backs. We’re still searching for that [consistency].”
Kreider beat Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson to a dump-in and sent a wrist shot past Petersen at the near post to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead at 7:06 of the third.
Kreider credited Mika Zibanejad for setting up his game-winning goal with more than just the pass.
“It’s something that he mentioned a little earlier, if you’re coming down the strong side that sometimes there’s space on the short pipe, so I just tried to put it there and there was space on the short side,” Kreider said. “So, good coaching by Mika and a good play by Mika.”
McLellan said Petersen “has to make that save,” contrasting it to the diving save he made to put Kaapo Kakko‘s shot off the post before Sean Walker tied it 3-3 at 6:12 of the third on a wrist shot from the high slot.
“Sometimes it’s the one that you need rather than all the ones you’ve made that makes a difference in the game, and we needed that one,” McLellan said.
Kreider scored an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left for the 5-3 final.
Braden Schneider started the comeback at 2:22 of the second period with a fluttering shot through traffic from the right point to bring New York within 2-1. It was his first goal since March 29.
Vincent Trocheck tied it 2-2 at 12:01 when the puck awkwardly chipped over Petersen after Trocheck’s stick and that of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty came together in the right face-off circle.
Kakko put the Rangers up 3-2 at 18:44, scoring from the top of the crease with Shesterkin off for an extra attacker during a delayed penalty.
“Started playing our game, and that’s what we can do,” Kakko said.
Fiala gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead 35 seconds into the first period.
Vilardi scored on the power play to make it 2-0 at 6:01, tipping in Fiala’s pass at the far post. It was his 11th goal in 22 games, breaking his previous NHL best of 10 goals in 54 games in 2020-21.
“Going in with the lead like that, 2-0 in the first, we’ve got to find ways to just keep going, you know,” Fiala said. “It’s no reason to step off the gas.”
NOTES: It was Kreider’s 36th game-winning goal, passing Steve Vickers and tying Adam Graves for seventh in Rangers history. Brian Leetch (37) is sixth. … Fox extended his point streak to nine games (four goals, 10 assists). It is the second-longest point streak of Fox’s NHL career; he had at least one point in 12 straight games from March 17-April 8, 2021. … New York was 0-4-2 when trailing after the first period. … Kings center Anze Kopitar had two assists for his 266th NHL multipoint game. … Walker goal was his first since May 13, 2021.