Stanley Cup Final Game Five: New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Stanley Cup Final – Game #5
New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings
Kings Lead Best of Seven Series 3-1
Friday, June 13, 2014, 8:05 Eastern, TV: NBC
Staples Center – Los Angeles, California
Opening Line: Los Angeles -155 / New York +135
Current Line: Los Angeles -175 / New York +155 
Opening Total: under 5 -120 / over 5 Even
Current Total: under 5 -115 / over 5 -105

The Kings look to win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons in Game Five against the Rangers Friday night.
The Kings look to win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons in Game Five against the Rangers Friday night.

The Los Angeles Kings won the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers. The Kings went for the sweep in game four Wednesday night. New York stayed alive with a gutsy 2-1 win. The series returns to LA for game five Friday night. The Kings will look to wrap up the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons. A Rangers’ win will force game six in New York Monday night.

New York had 2 goal leads on four occasions in games one and two. However the Kings came back and won each game in overtime. LA won game one 3-2 in overtime, and then won game two 5-4 in double overtime. In game two, the Kings trailed by 2 goals on three separate occasions. Los Angeles took complete control of the series with a 3-0 win in game three to put them on the verge of winning the Cup.

In game four Wednesday night, Benoit Pouliot scored 7 minutes into the game to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead assisted by John Moore and Derick Brassard. The Kings almost tied it up around a minute later when Alec Martinez put a shot behind New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist that skimmed along the goal line but did not go in the net. Martin St. Louis made it 2-0 Rangers six minutes into the second period assisted by Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan. Dustin Brown made it 2-1 Kings just over two minutes later on a a beautiful unassisted goal. Neither team would score again, but The Kings had numerous scoring chances. With just over a minute left in the game LA had another puck that stopped right on the goal line, but was stopped by some shaved ice that had piled up and somehow did not go in.

In game three, it was Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick who had a great game with 32 saves and a shutout. Wednesday night it was Lundqvist who had an even better game with 40 saves. It was a shooting gallery especially in the third when the Kings had 15 shots to 1 for the Rangers.  The Rangers only had 19 shots for the game. The teams were a combined 0 for 5 on the power play. LA won 41 face-offs to 24 for New York.

New York is coached by Alain Vigneault. The Rangers are 58-42-3-3 this season and the total was 30-41-11 during the regular season. Los Angeles is coached by Darryl Sutter. The Kings are 61-38-2-6 this season and the total was 22-41-19 during the regular season.

In the playoffs, New York is outscoring teams 2.58-2.38. The Rangers average 29.3 shots per game and opponents also average 29.3 per game. New York is 12 for 98 on the power play during the playoffs (12.2%). New York has allowed three short handed goals and scored two. The Rangers are at 85.9% on the penalty kill and have allowed 11 power play goals. New York is 47.2% on face-offs.

New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist has a 2.15 goals against average in the playoffs with a save percentage of .926. He has allowed 51 goals and faced 686 shots. Lundqvist has an 13-10 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.

Defenseman Ryan McDonagh has 16 points with 12 assists. Right wing Martin St. Louis has 15 points with 8 goals and 7 assists.  Center Derek Stepan has 15 points with 10 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. Left wing Chris Kreider has 12 points with 8 assists. Center Derick Brassard has 12 points with 6 goals in the playoffs.  Left wing Benoit Pouilot has 10 points with 5 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.

Los Angeles is outscoring teams 3.40-2.72 in the playoffs. The Kings are averaging 31.5 shots per game and opponents average 30.1 per game. The Kings are  19 for 81 on the power play (23.5%) in the playoffs. They have allowed two shorthanded goals. LA is 83.5% on the penalty kill and has allowed 16 power play goals. The Kings have won 53% of face-offs in the postseason.

Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick has a goals against average of 2.66 in the playoffs with a save percentage of .910. He has allowed 67 goals in 744 shots faced with two shutouts. Quick is 15-10 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 26 points including 21 assists. Center Jeff Carter has 9 goals and 15 assists for 24 points. Right wing Justin Williams (8 goals, 16 assists) has 24 points.   Right wing Marian Gaborik has 21 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 and captain Dustin Brown has 14 points with 8 assists. Left Wing Tanner Pearson has 12 points with 8 assists. Defenseman Jake Muzzin has 12 points with 6 goals. Defenseman Robyn Regehr is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

New York is 8-2 in Friday games, 6-2 on one day rest, 19-7 after the opponent allows two goals or less in the previous game, 9-4 after scoring 2 goals or less in the previous game, and 1-4 against Western Conference teams. The under is 4-1-2 in this series recently and 4-1-3 in Los Angeles between the teams.

Los Angeles is 9-1 against Metropolitan Division teams, 8-1 against Eastern Conference teams, 4-1 against teams with winning records, overall and in Stanley Cup Final games, 8-2 in Friday games,  5-2 against teams with winning road records, 56-26 at home, 3-7 after the opponent allows 2 goals or less in the previous game, and 2-5 after scoring 2 goals or less in the previous game.   The home team is 7-3 in the last 10 games in this series. The Kings have won 4 of the last 5 against the Rangers both overall and in LA.

The Rangers are 5-0 in elimination games this post season and have won 11 of the last 13 elimination games. The Kings are 7-0 in elimination games in the playoffs this year, but have had trouble putting teams away when they have leads. The Kings were up 2-0 on the Anaheim Ducks in the second round before losing 3 straight games and LA eventually won the series in seven games. The Kings were up 3-1 on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals but lost two straight games before LA won that series in seven games as well. New York will play with desperation but I think Los Angeles wraps up the Cup at home.

Our hockey handicappers are red hot in the playoffs. Don’t miss out on anymore winners.

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