NEW YORK -- This trip started in upstate New York, a cold goalie coming off the bench in overtime because of an injury to the starter and then staring down the barrel of a shootout.
Fast-forward a few days and Ben Scrivens, the man who came in from the cold when Jonathan Quick was injured in Buffalo, became the hottest goalie in the NHL, winning three starts in four nights, including consecutive shutouts.
Scrivens recorded his third shutout with an aggressive and often spectacular showing in the Kings' 1-0 victory against the New York Rangers on Sunday night, facing 37 shots. It featured a riveting goalie duel at Madison Square Garden with Henrik Lundqvist, who was victimized by his own defenseman's misfortune on the goal by forward Tyler Toffoli.
The other day Scrivens joked about the kids, including Toffoli, providing a good "narrative" for reporters.
You could say Scrivens is doing that job himself. He has not given up a goal since the second period of the Kings' victory against the New York Islanders when defenseman Aaron Ness scored at 4 minutes 58 seconds, a streak of 155 minutes 2 seconds. But he pointed out that it was unfair that the goalie gets all the credit for a team accomplishment.
"It's hard to compartmentalize games because they're a living entity almost," said Scrivens, whose goals-against average was 0.66 on this trip, in which he was 3-0-1.
"A play in the first can affect a play in the third and vice versa."
He paused, adding: "Vice versa. Well, that wouldn't make any sense."
Adding to the narrative was high drama when Rangers fans thought that Dominic Moore had tied it with 2:41 remaining. But it was almost immediately waved off and held up under video review because Moore made a distinct kicking motion with his right skate.
"It was a good battle in front — tied up their stick. I guess all he had left was his feet to work with," Scrivens said.
Toffoli scored at 1:23 of the second period off a slick pass from center Mike Richards. Toffoli, who scored his fourth goal of the season, fired the puck at the net and it deflected off the skate of defenseman Anton Stralman past Lundqvist.
"Obviously, their goalie can't tell what's going to happen when it goes off their foot," Toffoli said. "I'll take it. He [Richards] took a peek and just threw it and I was wide open. As soon as I got it, I fired it as fast as I could."
The Kings pulled a rare feat, sweeping all three New York-area teams in a span of four days, and Coach Darryl Sutter said there was a simple explanation for the success.
"We scored big goals," Sutter said. "The difference tonight was killing the five on threes. What was it in the second period? We killed off six minutes of penalties? The penalty-killing was awesome."
Sutter said Scrivens "just had to be solid tonight. It was very much a team thing killing penalties. We were able to clear pucks, which allowed us to change. We played four games in six nights."
In addition to Quick, the Kings are without three other regulars, including goal scorer Jeff Carter.
"You can't have a short bench clearly," Sutter said. "You need lots of ammo sitting there. I wouldn't want to take the top goal scorer in the conference or your No. 1 goaltender out for very long, but you know what? You find ways and you just stay focused on one game."
Said Scrivens: "I guess we don't care if we win 7-6. I don't imagine Darryl would be too happy with it."