Henrik Lundqvist had to make a right toe save to deny Anze Kopitar on the doorstep early, and the game was physical. Dan Girardi was blasted helmet-first into the boards by Alex Ponikarvosky and Mats Zuccarello, a foot shorter, took exception and Brad Richardson bumped him near the benches. Ryan Callahan and Brian Boyle were involved in a scrum in front of Bernier.
When Brandon Dubinsky was whistled for boarding Willie Mitchell at 4:28, the Kings struck on the power play. Dustin Brown spun in the high slot and beat Lundqvist stickside at 5:25, with assists from Jack Johnson and Justin Williams. It was the 10th time in 11 games that the Rangers have surrendered the first goal.
The Rangers had a chance to square the score when Marian Gaborik, battling along the offensive boards, was crosschecked by Drew Doughty, triggering a power play at 6:38. The Kings had killed 29 of the prior 31, and allowed just two shots on Bernier. The Kings have the better of the play for the next stretch, and were outshooting the Rangers 9-6 with 4:41 left. Matt Greene’s long shot from the right point slid off the far post. The Rangers had their second power play with 1:08 left in the first with Kopitar off for hooking, but the period ended with the Rangers trailing, 1-0.