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NEW YORK -- With three minutes remaining in the third period Thursday night, the odds of the Kings picking up one point in the standings were not particularly good.
Brandon Dubinsky had just scored to give the Rangers a one-goal lead, and the Kings were skating on tired legs -- having played the previous night at Columbus -- while the Rangers, who hadn't played since Sunday, couldn't possibly have been fresher.
The improbable took place, though, as Dustin Brown scored his second goal of the game with 2:21 remaining and the Kings walked away -- wearily -- with one point after a 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers before 18,200 at Madison Square Garden.
``We're disappointed in not getting two (points),'' Brown said, ``but we've just got to move on and refocus, because this game is done and over with. We've got to get two more (points) in our next game, and we've got to have that attitude for the rest of the year.''
New York went 2-for-3 in the shootout while the Kings went 1-for-3, leaving the Kings with something of an odd feeling, having left the second point -- for the shootout win -- on the table but also having made some progress in the Western Conference standings.
The Kings rallied from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits in the third period and, with the point, the Kings moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in the West and still square in the middle of a ridiculous logjam, both in the conference and Pacific Division.
`I look at the third period, coming back two times, down 2-1, down 3-2,'' Kings coach Terry Murray said. ``It was a huge response. I was real pleased with that, to get into a tie game at the end and to get into the overtime.''
The Kings are also 8-0-3 in their last 11 games and, eight games into this season-long stretch of 10 consecutive road games, have claimed 13 of a possible 16 points. Five of the Kings' last nine games have gone to shootouts. The Kings conclude this six-game leg of the road trip with a game against the New York Islanders on Saturday.
``That point is a huge point for us,'' Brown said. ``You get to a shootout, and it is what it is. We've won our fair amount of those, and tonight we didn't get the extra point. It was a huge point for us not to get, but we've got to just kind of take the point and refocus, because we've had a really good road trip and we can make it a great one if we win against the Islanders.''
Brown scored 5:25 into the first period, and New York's Ryan Callahan tied it 4:01 into the second period. Marian Gaborik and Matt Greene traded goals within two minutes early in the third period, and Artem Anisimov and Brown traded goals late in the third.
In total, the Kings probably got what they deserved out of the game: one point. There were some positives, such as Brown's two-goal game -- he had one goal in his previous 16 games -- and the end of a four-game power-play drought, but the Kings also got loose at times and were outshot 37-28 by the Rangers. The Kings went 1-for-3 on the power play and went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill, perfect for a fifth consecutive game.
Jonathan Bernier (34 saves) was adequate in goal for much of the game, but was beaten twice in the shootout and fell to 0-2 this season in the 1-on-1 post-regulation showdown.
``The guys really battled hard,'' Bernier said. ``Back to back, it's never easy, and we found a way to go into the shootout and we were playing from behind twice in the game. It was a great effort by the team, that's for sure.''
The Kings were fortunate to even get to the shootout. New York started overtime with a four-minutes, 4-on-3 power play after Alexei Ponikarovsky was given a double-minor high-sticking penalty at the end of regulation. New York's Brandon Dubinsky helped out, at the 1:48 mark, by taking a high-sticking penalty that led to two minutes of 3-on-3.
Erik Christensen scored in the first round for the Rangers and, after goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped Michal Handzus, the Rangers' Mats Zuccarello skated in slowly, essentially came to a stop and tucked the puck around Bernier.
``He got me right there,'' Bernier said of Zuccarello. ``He made a nice move, and I just kind of tried to throw my stick out there. I hit his skate. I've got to be better, that's for sure.''
Jarret Stoll scored in the second round for the Kings, and the Kings had a chance to send it to sudden death when Bernier stopped Wojtek Wolski, but Lundqvist stopped Kopitar.
The Kings opened the scoring with a power-play goal -- their first in the last five games -- at the 5:25 mark. Jack Johnson brought the puck into the offensive zone and pushed it up to Justin Williams, who found Brown with open ice. Brown, in the slot, spun and shot high, and beat Lundqvist to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
The Rangers tied the game 4:01 into the second period, after winning an offensive-zone faceoff. Callahan went to the front of the net and, after Derek Stepan pushed the puck toward the crease, Callahan reached in and tipped the puck past Bernier from close range to tie the game 1-1.
The Rangers took the lead with a goal 6:10 into the third period. On a counter-attack, Gaborik went 1-on-1 with Drew Doughty pulled up for a moment in the offensive-zone faceoff circle and beat Bernier with a sharp wrist shot to the farm corner to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
``I lost it in the stands and I didn't know where it was,'' Bernier said. ``That's the kind of goal, especially at the end of the season, when you're battling for a playoff spot, you can't give up those goals, that's for sure.''
The Kings tied the game just 1:40 after Gaborik's go-ahead goal. Richardson won the puck in the corner of the offensive zone and fed it high to Greene, whose slap shot from the right point beat Lundqvist cleanly, five-hole, to make it a 2-2 game 7:50 into the third period. Anze Kopitar also picked up an assist on Greene's first goal of the season.
``A lot of hard work,'' Murray said. ``There were good things by Kopitar. Richardson, in particular, getting in and digging the puck out. He took a little bit of a hit, helmet got knocked off. It looked like a highlight goal to me. Get it back up top and Greene pounds it. That's all you want to do in those situations. Get pucks to the net with some traffic.''
The Rangers took a 3-2 lead with 3:08 remaining. Callahan won the puck in the defensive zone and carried it up the ice, into the Kings' zone. His shot went wide, but Bernier overplayed the shot and was out of position as Brandon Dubinsky swept in and picked up the puck. The puck deflected off Anisimov and then off Bernier, into the net.
Brown's second goal of the game tied it 3-3 with 2:21 remaining. Rob Scuderi's point shot was blocked, but Scuderi picked up the puck again and shot. It went wide, but Brown, at the side of the net, was there to stuff it in. Alec Martinez also picked up an assist as Brown became the second Kings player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season.
``It's one of those moments where you don't want to give up that goal,'' Brown said. ``At that point of the game, I think both teams, given the situation of the standings, are telling themselves to hold on and get a point. We gave up that goal, but to come right back, I think this team has showed that kind of never-give-up attitude. We did it a lot last year, and we've come from behind a few times this year. We've got to keep doing it. It's more important than ever, now, because you never know what can happen.''