In a much-improved effort compared to Thursday's season-opening 4-1 loss to Phoenix, the New York Rangers picked up their first win of the season in Los Angeles Monday night, topping the Kings 3-1 to kick off a stretch of four games in six nights.
Among the highlights in Alain Vigneault's first win as coach of the Rangers:
• Captain Ryan Callahan returned ... twice. The 28-year-old winger, who played his first game since undergoing off-season shoulder surgery, was knocked out of action temporarily in the second period after a collision with LA's Anze Kopitar. Callahan caught Kopitar's stick to the mouth -- a play that went unpenalized -- and missed the majority of the second period getting dental work done to repair the damage. The gritty forward returned by the beginning of the third period, however, and the Rangers hope they don't have to be without him again.
• Brad Richards finished with two goals and went 6-for-8 from the faceoff circle in 17:49 of ice time. The 33-year-old veteran needs that sort of start to the season after an abysmal performance last year that left him in jeopardy of being bought out.
• Defenseman Ryan McDonagh was gifted with what might go down as the luckiest, flukiest goals of his career when his clearing attempt banked off the end boards and caromed off Kings netminder Jonathan Quick's stick for a blooper-reel marker in the third period. The blunder for Quick was on par with Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask's notorious gaffe during the team's second-round playoff series against the Rangers last spring.
The Rangers get right back at it Tuesday night when they travel to San Jose to face the Sharks.