2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Stanley Cup Final – Game #3
Los Angeles Kings at New York Rangers
Kings Lead Best of Seven Series 2-0
Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York
Monday, June 9, 2014, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
Opening Line: New York -130 / Los Angeles +110
Current Line: New York -140 / Los Angeles +120
Opening Total: over 5 -110 / under 5 -110
Current Total: over 5 -115 / under 5 -105
Despite not leading in regulation and having been down 4 times by two goals, the Los Angeles Kings still have a 2-0 series lead on the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The Kings won game one 3-2 in overtime despite being down 2-0 early in the first. In game two Saturday night in LA, the Kings were down 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 at various points of the game. The Kings came back to win in double overtime 5-4.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise because the Kings have proven throughout their recent run of playoff success that they are never out of a game or series. LA has come back from two goal deficits in the last three games dating back to game seven of the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Kings are also 7-0 in elimination games in the playoffs this season.
The series shifts across the country to New York for games three and four starting Monday. The Rangers need a win to avoid an 0-3 series hole. A Kings win would put them on the verge of winning their second Stanley Cup in three seasons. New York hasn’t won the Cup since 1994.
New York scored first in game two midway through the first period on a goal from Ryan McDonagh assisted by Dominic Moore. Mats Zuccarello made it 2-0 Rangers with just over a minute left in the first assisted by McDonagh and Derick Brassard.
Jarret Stoll scored for the Kings less than 2 minutes into the second to make it 2-1 Rangers assisted by Justin Williams and Dwight King. Martin St. Louis scored a power play goal for the Rangers with just over 8 minutes left in the second assisted by Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider. LA made it 3-2 three minutes later on a power play goal from Willie Mitchell assisted by Slava Voynov and Williams. Brassard scored for the Rangers 11 seconds later to make it 4-2 assisted by Zuccarello.
Two minutes into the third period, Dwight King scored a controversial goal for the Kings assisted by Matt Greene and Williams. It looked like interference should have been called as Greene’s shot bounced off King and into the net just as King fell on top of New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers were livid when the refs didn’t disallow the goal or call a penalty. Marian Gaborik tied it up 5 minutes later with an unassisted goal. Neither team scored again in regulation or in the first overtime. Both teams had numerous chances and the two goalies, Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick for the Kings made tons of great saves. Dustin Brown scored the game winner for the Kings midway through the second overtime assisted by Mitchell and Anze Kopitar.
Quick made 34 saves on 38 shots faced. Lundqvist made 39 saves on 44 shots faced. New York was 1 for 5 on the power play and LA was 1 for 4. The Kings won 56 face-offs to 54 for the Rangers.
New York is coached by Alain Vigneault. The Rangers are 57-41-3-3 this season and the total was 30-41-11 during the regular season. Los Angeles is coached by Darryl Sutter. The Kings are 60-37-2-6 this season and the total was 22-41-19 during the regular season.
Los Angeles is outscoring teams 3.52-2.87 in the playoffs. The Kings are averaging 31.8 shots per game and opponents average 30.5 per game. The Kings are 18 for 75 on the power play (24%) in the playoffs. They have allowed two shorthanded goals. LA is 81.8% on the penalty kill and has allowed 16 power play goals. The Kings have won 52.7% of face-offs in the postseason.
Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick has a goals against average of 2.80 in the playoffs with a save percentage of .906. He has allowed 65 goals in 693 shots faced with one shutout. Quick is 14-9 in the playoffs so far. Martin Jones is the back-up if something happens to Quick.
LA Center Anze Kopitar leads all scorers in the playoffs with 25 points including 20 assists. Center Jeff Carter has 9 goals and 14 assists for 23 points. Right wing Justin Williams (8 goals, 15 assists) has 23 points. Right wing Marian Gaborik has 20 points and leads the playoffs in goals with 13. Defenseman Drew Doughty has 17 points with 12 assists. Center Tyler Toffoli has 13 points with 7 goals. Right wing Dustin Brown has 13 points with 8 assists. Left Wing Tanner Pearson has 12 points with 8 assists. Defenseman Jake Muzzin has 11 points with 5 goals. Defenseman Robyn Regehr is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
In the playoffs, New York is outscoring teams 2.73-2.41. The Rangers are outshooting teams 29.6-28.4 in the playoffs. New York is 12 for 89 on the power play during the playoffs (13.5%). New York has allowed three short handed goals and scored two. The Rangers are at 86.1% on the penalty kill and have allowed 10 power play goals. New York is 47.7% on face-offs.
New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist has a 2.16 goals against average in the playoffs with a save percentage of .925. He has allowed 47 goals and faced 630 shots. Lundqvist has an 12-9 record in the playoffs with one shutout. Back-up goalie Cam Talbot has a 2.59 GAA with a save percentage of .846. He has allowed 2 goals in 13 shots faced in two games in the playoffs. He is questionable for undisclosed reasons for game three and missed the first two games. New York called up David LeNeveu from the minors as the back-up goalie.
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh has 16 points with 12 assists. Right wing Martin St. Louis has 14 points with 7 goals and 7 assists. Center Derek Stepan has 14 points with 9 assists. He suffered a broken jaw in the Montreal series but only missed one game. Right wing Mats Zuccarello has 13 points with 8 assists. Center Brad Richards has 5 goals and 6 assists. Left wing Carl Hagelin has 11 points with 7 goals. LW Rick Nash has 10 points with 7 assists. Left wing Chris Kreider has 11 points with 7 assists. Center Derick Brassard has 11 points with 6 goals in the playoffs. Left wing Benoit Pouilot has 9 points with 5 assists. LW Daniel Carcillo is suspended until game four after elbowing an official in the Montreal series.
Los Angeles is 8-0 against Metropolitan Division teams, 10-1 against Eastern Conference teams, 22-7 after a win, 6-2 against teams with winning records, overall and in Stanley Cup Final games, 22-9 in Monday games, 7-3 in road games, and against teams with winning road records. The over is 4-1 in the last 5 games in this in New York. The Kings have won 4 of the last 5 games against the Rangers.
New York is 5-1 on one day rest, and after the opponent scores 5 goals or more in the previous game and 7-2 after allowing 5 goals or more. The home team is 6-2 in this series recently.
For the Rangers it has to be disheartening to know they dominated for most of the two games in Los Angeles but yet have nothing to show for it except an 0-2 series deficit. The Kings are playing with fire by getting into these early holes. You can’t always depend on coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the NHL playoffs. This series is similar to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final when the Kings had two comeback overtime victories against the New Jersey Devils in the first two games. The Kings won game three and ended up winning the series in six games. I think they win game three against the Rangers tonight in New York.
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