NEW YORK -- Rick Nash is nearing a return, and the New York Rangers could use him right about now. Coming off a morale-boosting win in Montreal on Saturday night, the Blueshirts were blanked 1-0 by Los Angeles Kings netminder Ben Scrivens Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Though Henrik Lundqvist was also terrific, Scrivens, who is shouldering the starting goaltending duties with Jonathan Quick on the shelf, recorded his second straight shutout with his 37-save effort.
The Rangers briefly entertained hope that they spoiled his bid with 2:41 to play in regulation, but Dominic Moore's goal was waived off after video review as the Rangers fell back to .500. The team's power-play also came up empty on all five opportunities.
Setback in the second: After dictating play in the first period -- demonstrating energy and jump despite the back-to-back set -- the Rangers immediately found themselves on their heels in the middle frame. Benefactors of a bounce off Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman, the Kings got on the board 1:23 into play and didn’t surrender their 1-0 lead despite three shorthanded situations in the second period.
Entering Sunday’s match with the league lead in 5-on-3 goals (three), the Rangers failed to cash in on two brief 5-on-3 opportunities, 50 seconds total, in the second period. Just one night prior, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan tallied on the man-advantage for the game’s only goal in the team’s 1-0 win over Montreal on Saturday night.
Beyond the power plays, the Rangers also blew a prime scoring chance when winger Mats Zuccarello passed up a shot on a 3-on-1 rush.
Hope on the horizon: Some good news for a Rangers team that could use an offensive boost: Associate coach Scott Arniel, who addressed the media prior to Sunday’s game in lieu of Alain Vigneault, did not rule out the possibility that injured winger Rick Nash could play Tuesday when the Rangers host the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden. Nash, who has not played since sustaining a concussion Oct. 8, has been practicing with the team regularly and appears to be nearing a return. Arniel said the decision will be up to Nash; once he feels ready to go, he will play.