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Red Hot Kings Head To Madison Square Garden To Face Rangers

(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try to post consecutive victories for the first time this month when they host the surging Los Angeles Kings tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers last played on Sunday, when they ended a season-high six-game slide with a home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. New York, which was 0-5-1 during its recent losing streak, hasn't won two in a row since beating Atlanta and Washington on Jan. 22 and 24, respectively.

Ryan Callahan had two goals and an assist as the Rangers used a three-goal second period to take a 5-3 win over the visiting Penguins. Vinny Prospal, Brian Boyle and Artem Anisimov all scored for the Rangers, while No. 1 netminder Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves in the win. "We really stepped up, especially with our power play," Lundqvist said after the win. "I think we moved the puck really well, and we were shooting the puck and getting deflections. We kept it simple."

The Rangers did lose Wojtek Wolski to a rib cage injury in Sunday's win and the forward is expected miss tonight's game. Kris Newbury was recalled from New York's AHL affiliate in Connecticut to take Wolski's place in the lineup. New York had lost three straight on home ice prior to Sunday's win over the Pens. The Rangers are 13-12-3 at MSG this season.

The Rangers enter tonight as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They are just two points ahead of Carolina, which is holding onto the conference's final playoff spot. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has won three straight and has recorded a point in every game so far during a 10-game road trip. The Kings are 5-0-2 on the swing to improve their road record this season to 15-13-2.

The Kings have been trying to get into the top eight seeds in the West and have an excellent chance to do just that tonight. With 67 points, LA is currently the ninth seed out West and is just one point behind five teams (Nashville, San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas and Calgary) tied for the conference's final playoff spots. Out of those teams, only San Jose and Nashville are playing tonight.

Despite being the last-place team in the Pacific Division, the Kings are also just two points behind first-place Phoenix. The Kings recorded their third straight victory on Wednesday, posting a shootout win in Columbus. Jarret Stoll scored the lone goal in the deciding phase to give Los Angeles a 4-3 victory at Nationwide Arena.

Stoll shot a simple wrister into top right corner in the second round, and Jonathan Quick turned away Kristian Huselius' shot to secure the win. Drew Doughty, Andrei Loktionov and Justin Williams scored for the Kings, who improved to 8-0-2 in their last 10 games. Quick ended with 21 saves. "He's very good. He gets very focused on the challenge at hand," Kings head coach Terry Murray said of Quick. "It's big for us, especially in games like this."

Tonight marks the only scheduled meeting between the Kings and Rangers this season. The clubs split a pair of encounters in 2009-10 and LA has taken five of eight overall in the series. The Kings had won three straight in New York until the Rangers recorded a home win on Oct. 14 of last season.

For more news and information on tonight's game, be sure to read Jewels From The Crown.