If one point didn’t seem like enough Thursday night, Kings fans are officially spoiled.
Brandon Dubinsky’s wraparound goal with 3:08 left in the third period left the Kings trailing 3-2 at Madison Square Garden — a tall task to overcome for any team, especially one that wasn’t built to score in droves.
But Dustin Brown answered less than a minute later by coralling a Rob Scuderi shot off the end boards, then yanking the puck up and in past Henrik Lundqvist from behind the net.
When overtime began, a double-minor for high-sticking to forward Alexei Ponikarovsky gave the Rangers a 4-on-3 power play for the first four minutes. The Kings weathered that storm, too, and forced a shootout in a 3-3 game for the second straight night.
In the end, they were denied the extra point because starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier is not Jonathan Quick in the skills competition — at least not this season.
Bernier, who finished with 35 saves, was fooled badly by Erik Christensen and Mats Zuccarello on the Rangers’ first two attempts. With the extra point on the line, Jarret Stoll went to his trusty forehand wrist shot, and improved to 6-for-7 in shootout attempts this season. Bernier poke-checked the puck away from the Rangers’ Wojtek Wolski ont he other end.
But the game ended when Lundqvist (25 saves) deflected Anze Kopitar’s shot up and over the net.
Bernier fell to 0-2 this season (and 1-2 in his career) in the shootout. Wednesday in Columbus, Quick improved to an NHL-best 7-0 in the skills competition as the Kings beat the Blue Jackets 4-3. If you’re doing the math at home, that’s a 7-2 shootout record this season; the Kings are also 8-4 in games that go beyond regulation. Not many teams are better, but the Rangers (9-4) are one.
The ever-changing, mind-boggling standings picture momentarily sees the Kings tied with five other teams, ranked 4 through 9 in the Western Conference, with 68 points. That’s one point behind the division-leading Phoenix Coyotes, who are in action tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers, and tied with the San Jose Sharks, who are hosting the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m.
Brown also scored the game’s first goal, and his 20 goals this season matches Justin Williams for the team lead.
Matt Greene scored his first goal of the season — his first since Jan. 28, 2010 — in the third period on a deflected slapshot.
Brad Richardson re-entered the lineup in place of Kevin Westgarth, and picked up the primary assist on Greene’s tally.