Following Monday night's game against Toronto, one sentiment was clear: conditioning has everything to do with the Rangers winning streak.
Having played back-to-back games, the Rangers mustered an impressive third period by scoring four goals and looking as if they were on three days rest.
Head Coach John Tortorella attributed the early season success to the work the players put in during training camp and on their own during the offseason.
Captain Chris Drury echoed those remarks, saying that the team's confidence is knowing in the back of your head that you are a well conditioned team and have worked hard to get there.
Tonight, the Rangers will see if that conditioning can continue to pay dividends as they host the upstart Los Angeles Kings.
L.A. is 4 - 1, having only lost on opening night to the Phoenix Coyotes. Since then, they have taken down San Jose, Minnesota, St. Louis, and the Islanders.
The Kings are led by young star center Anze Kopitar, who has four goals and six assists in the five games.
Rugged forward Ryan Smyth has also been rejuvenated, tallying four goals and four assists thus far.
On defense, the Kings have seen tremendous improvement from 19 year old Drew Doughty. Doughty leads all Kings' defenseman in scoring with two goals and four assists.
Free agent acquisition Rob Scuderi brings leadership to the young group who has also seen success from Jack Johnson and Sean O'Donell.
One potential question mark for the Kings is their goaltending. It appears that backup Erik Ersberg will get the start tonight as Jonathan Quick gets a night off to prepare for tomorrow's contest in Detroit.
For the Rangers, they will sport nearly the same lineup as the past couple games, with the possible exception of Donald Brashear getting a break in favor of Aaron Voros.
Henrik Lundqvist will get the start tonight.
- The Rangers are atop the Eastern Conference with 10 points
- Marian Gaborik is tied for top scoring of all right wings in the NHL with 9 points
- Mike DelZotto will be playing his 7th game, after 9 games due to his junior eligibility, he must either be assigned or his first year is counted against his professional contract