In an effort to lighten the mood during the lockout, The New York Rangers Blog will be writing faux recaps for every Rangers game missed due to the work stoppage. Enjoy.
Los Angeles, CA – With Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist facing off against Conn Smyth Trophy winner Jonathan Quick it was no surprise that there wasn't a regulation goal scored during the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 shootout victory over the Rangers at the Staples Center in both teams' preseason finale. What was a surprise was how they arrived at that outcome.
Because of a scheduling quirk, the Rangers and Kings will meet again at the Staples Center in four days to open the regular season.
This oddity is something that did not sit well with Rangers head coach John Tortorella as he directed his players to stall with the puck in the defensive zone any time they had possession, in an attempt not to divulge any of their game plan for Friday night's season opener. The ensuing scene was very reminiscent of when the Flyers used the same strategy to break the Lightning's 1-3-1 trap last season, except this one lasted the entire game.
"I know this tactic, similar to my shot blocking strategy, isn't going to sit well with you guys in the media," said a defiant Tortorella. "But I don't care. My job is to help the New York Rangers win games and I will do everything in my power to get that done. You got a problem with that Brooksie?"
"Brooksie" aka Tortorella's verbal sparring partner, Larry Brooks of the New York Post, responded with an emphatic "yes" leading to this confrontation between the two (WARNING: Adult Language)…
The Rangers had possession of the puck for 58 of the 60 minutes in regulation as well as all five minutes of overtime. The Kings outshot the Rangers 3-0 for the game.
Even the Kings lone shootout goal wasn't without controversy as LA captain Dustin Brown scored on an unsuspecting Lundqvist, who was preoccupied taping a new Head & Shoulders commercial in the crease.
"Hey we're in Los Angeles, I'm taking advantage of the opportunity," said the Head & Shoulders spokesman Lundqvist. "My Head & Shoulders spots are wildly popular. Not sure I can say the same about preseason hockey."
After the game, the Rangers made their final cuts as the Czechmate line of Petr Nedved, Radek Dvorak and Jan Hlavac were given their walking papers.
"I would think those three are happy to be cut. Now they can go back to Europe and dominate, instead of barely play in the NHL," noted Rangers GM Glen Sather after the game.
The Rangers finished the preseason with a 3-0-2-1 record.
To read previous faux recaps, click here.