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Special teams the Rangers undoing in London

The London Knights went 3-for-8 while the Rangers struggled at 1-for-7 on the power play.
Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images.

If you play with fire, you get burned.

The London Knights came into Friday's game with the second best power play in the league, and showed the Kitchener Rangers why.

The Knights went 3-for-8 with the extra-man advantage and capped Kitchener 6-3, in London.

"That was the difference in the game," said Rangers co-captain Riley Damiani, who had two goals in the loss. "We knew they had a good power coming in and we have to be better. We have to block more shots and pick guys up in front."

Interim head coach Mike McKenzie outlined the struggles in a game with a combined 15 power plays.

"There's not a lot of flow. You can't get your whole team involved. You're playing the same guys over and over. It can be difficult," said McKenzie. "Probably feel a lot better if our special teams were good tonight, and if our power play executed and our PK executed."

Kitchener ended last year with the league's best power play. This year, they're ranked tenth.

"It has to be better. It has to capitalize on more opportunities," said Damiani. "We're doing the right things, we're getting shots off, we're getting chances. A lot of teams are pre-scouting what we did last year. [Assistant coach Andreas Karlsson] does a great job of giving us all the insight we need to go out and make the best plays."

"Maybe we need to practice it more, added McKenzie. "Overall there wasn't a lot of urgency it seemed like and they were a little jittery on the breakout and couldn't really get set up. They killed against us pretty well. We'll have to take a look at it and find something that works better."

Serron Noel returned to the Rangers line-up after missing time because of an upper-body injury.

Kitchener will try to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since late November when they travel to Saginaw Saturday.

It's a meeting of the two divisional leaders in the Western Conference.

Pregame on 570 NEWS starts at 6:30 p.m.

Story by Chris Pope


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