Ben Scrivens hasn’t given up a goal in more than 2-1/2 games, and the person least impressed with his performance is the backup goalie himself.
Scrivens stopped all 37 New York Rangers shots and posted his second consecutive shutout in place of injured regular Jonathan Quick as the Los Angeles Kings completed a successful Eastern road trip with a 1-0 victory Sunday night.
”It’s only three games. I wouldn’t look too much into it,” Scrivens said in matter-of-fact fashion as he drank from a water bottle. ”The guys play well in front of me. I’m just trying to go out and give the team a chance.”
The job for the rest of the Kings has become much easier recently because of Scrivens, who has gone 155 minutes, 2 seconds without allowing a goal. Aaron Ness of the New York Islanders was the last to get a puck past him, in the second period of Los Angeles’ 3-2 win on Thursday.
Scrivens followed that up with a shutout of the New Jersey Devils on Friday. His blanking of the Rangers finished the Kings’ 3-0-1 trip that started with a shootout loss at Buffalo on Tuesday.
Scrivens’ best stop came six minutes into the third period when his right arm stopped Mats Zuccarello’s shot off a rebound in front.
”He just had to be solid,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. ”It was very much a team thing.”
Los Angeles, 5-0-1 in its past six, will begin a three-game homestand Tuesday against Tampa Bay.
”We’ve just got to get back to L.A. now,” Scrivens said. ”A couple of home games, and we get to sleep in our own beds a little bit and try to continue this.”
New York’s Dominic Moore thought he tied it with 2:41 remaining, but the goal was disallowed because he kicked it in with his right skate.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots in the hard-luck loss. The Rangers, 7-3 in their past 10, failed to follow up on their 1-0 win at Montreal on Saturday with backup Cam Talbot in net. New York dropped its second straight at home.
”We were a little inconsistent at times, but we had our chances and opportunities,” Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said. ”We played well, but you have to find a way to get one.”
Tyler Toffoli broke the scoreless deadlock 1:23 into the second period with his fourth goal in just seven NHL games this season. Toffoli, who netted the winning goal late in regulation against the Islanders, cashed in again with some help from the Rangers.
The 21-year-old center spun and fired a shot from above the circles. Lundqvist slid to his right to get into position to make the save, but the puck hit the skate of New York defenseman Anton Stralman and caromed to Lundqvist’s left and into the vacated part of the net.
Lundqvist thrust backward in the crease in disbelief and disgust as the Kings celebrated.
”It was definitely a frustrating loss because I felt we had enough chances to tie it up and maybe win,” Lundqvist said. ”We needed some puck luck, and I felt like we didn’t have it.
”Just a really tough, frustrating loss.”
The Kings needed a break to get a puck past Lundqvist, who appeared sharp after getting a game off. He kept the Rangers in it as Los Angeles held a 10-2 shots edge in the first half of the second period.
During an extended flurry in front, Lundqvist made several saves and was bailed out when one drive struck the left post behind him.
The Rangers certainly had their chances at the other end against Scrivens, but he was also up to the task. New York had back-to-back scoring opportunities while short-handed, including a 2-on-1 break that failed to produce a shot.
Then the Kings were called for three consecutive penalties midway through the second — including a call for too many men on the ice and another for delay of game — but New York couldn’t take advantage despite having a pair of abbreviated 5-on-3 power plays. The Rangers’ goal at Montreal on Saturday was scored during a 5-on-3 advantage.
”Luckily for us they weren’t extended 5 on 3s,” Kings forward Anze Kopitar said. ”We killed their momentum and gained some momentum ourselves.”
NOTES: Scrivens has three shutouts this season and five in three NHL seasons. . . . Toffoli, recalled from Manchester (AHL) on Nov. 2, has eight points and three game-winning goals. . . . Rangers D Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. New York went with 6-foot-5 defenseman Justin Falk against the big Kings lineup. . . . New York LW Rick Nash missed his 17th game due to a concussion but is eyeing a return in the upcoming week. . . . New York RW Derek Dorsett played in his 300th NHL game. . . . Mike Richards, who assisted on Toffoli’s goal, has 10 points in seven games and 13 in 12 contests.