Last night the New York Rangers earned their first win in the Stanley Cup finals, defeating the Los Angeles Kings. The Rangers have lost the first 3 games of the best-of-seven series. A chance for Los Angeles to sweep New York for the Stanley Cup, they fell short 2-1.
Head coach Alain Vigneault didn’t give up hope on his team. AV is 4-0 when faced playing elimination games. Although the Rangers still have a long way to go and still face two more potential elimination games, he still has hope for his team. As expected, Henrik Lundqvist played his hardest. His focus and performance was impressive last night, stopping 39 out of 40 shots. Similar to his coach, Lundqvist has impressively won 8 straight playoff elimination games in New York.
The Stanley Cup was in Madison Square Garden last night, in case Los Angeles were able to complete a potential sweep. “We didn’t want to see the Cup come out on our home ice tonight. Just the thought of that makes me sick,” Lundqvist stated.
In the first period, Rangers Benoit Pouliot scored on a deflection, thanks to a hard slap shot close to the Kings net by John Moore.
New York made it 2-0 early in the second period. Marty St. Louis beat Kings netminder Jonathan Quick, scoring his eighth playoff goal. A two-goal lead started to seem like a curse for the Rangers when Kings captain Dustin Brown cut the lead in half. Brown took off with speed on a breakaway after getting past Dan Girardi. Girardi’s stick broke, and Brown was able to capitalize on his opportunity. Henrik Lundqvist stayed focused and didn’t let the one-goal difference throw him off. “Yeah, I’m not going to lie, the first thought was ‘here we go again,’” he stated in a post-game interview.
The Rangers avoided a sweep, but still need to focus on getting through the next game successfully. Game 5 will be hosted by the Los Angeles Kings in Staples Center tomorrow night at 9 pm.