justinwilliams

Kings 3, Rangers 2, OT

The New York Rangers lost to the Los Angeles Kings by the score of 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Kings lead the series 1-0. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.

…since most of you likely need a pick me up after that demoralizing loss, just remember that in 1994 the Rangers also lost Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final by the score of 3-2 in overtime. 

…to the game, that was exciting stuff as the action was back and forth all night. The Rangers came out exactly the way you’d hope. They used their speed to blitz a Kings team that you thought might have a bit of a letdown after the Blackhawks series. The Rangers dominated puck possession as they did an outstanding job on the forecheck and cycling down low. And obviously they were rewarded with two quick strike goals.

…unfortunately, the Stepan giveaway was the turning point of the game (get that man some Windex for that face shield) as it gave the Kings life and you could see the momentum begin to turn. The Rangers had a chance to swing it back in their favor early in the second period, but as was the case most of the night they couldn’t bury their opportunities. The Rangers attempted 63 shots and just 27 of them found their way on net.

…obviously a large majority of those shot attempts happened in the first two periods as the Rangers completely stopped skating in the third period. Fatigue? When you can’t even get a puck towards the net on a 3-on-1, you know your offense is struggling. My concern is that the Kings finally woke up from their early game slumber and the remainder of the series is going to look like that third period. The Kings were the #1 possession team in the league during the regular season, so if the Rangers want to tie this thing up, they need to look at the tape from the first period and start getting pucks deep again. Too often in the third period the Rangers attempted to skate the puck into the offensive zone and then make a lateral pass which won’t work against this physical defense that is looking to stand the opponent up at the blueline.

…it’s real easy to kill Girardi for the final play in overtime but the puck took a bad bounce, the forwards fled the zone and the Rangers defenseman was a sitting duck. Could Girardi have gone behind the net with it? Absolutely, but that’s easy for me to say sitting on my couch. Having said that, that final gaffe was pretty much the icing on the cake for what was a forgettable night for Girardi. He wasn’t alone, as Staal was only a smidge better.

girardigaffe2

…if Lundqvist continues to play this way he’s going to win the Conn Smyth no matter who wins this series.

…the Rangers made life way too easy on Quick tonight. Sure he had some exceptional saves, but similar to last series, not nearly enough traffic in front or second chance opportunities.

…how about that final minute in the third period? Thankfully the frame ended as it allowed me the opportunity to change my underwear…

hagsquick

hanksave3rd

…the most amazing part of that Pouliot breakaway goal is that he didn’t take an offensive zone penalty.

…at least it looked like the Rangers fans attending the viewing party at Bryant Park had a good time tonight (via misterdevore)…

bryantparkparty

…Hagelin is becoming a dominant offensive force right in front of our eyes this postseason. With his goal tonight, he now leads the Rangers with seven.

…Doughty is obviously majoring in #Plekanecing at the Montreal School of Diving.

doughtydive

…although, he did have the last laugh when he absolutely abused the entire Rangers defense…

doughtyabuse

…i thought Nash had a great start as he was very aggressive, but as the game wore on he had difficulty generating dangerous scoring opportunities which was exasperated when he failed to even produce a shot attempt on that third period 3-on-1.

…Stralman summoned his inner Buekeboom tonight as he was hitting everything that moved…

stralmanhit

…just four shots on goal from the defense tonight, expect John Moore back in the line-up for Game 2.

 …i keep worrying about the undisciplined penalties the Rangers have been taking this postseason, but time and again the penalty kill bails them out. In fact, the PK has become more dangerous offensively than the power play which is again in a prolonged slump (1 for their last 19).

…tonight, the Rangers were introduced to the cardiac kids that are the Los Angeles Kings. They seem to thrive on adversity even better than the Rangers do. They never stop working, won’t lose their cool and they are never out of a game no matter what the deficit.

…while the loss was obviously frustrating as they missed a golden opportunity to steal Game 1, the first period performance should give every Rangers fan confidence that when the Blueshirts skate hard they can absolutely compete with the Kings. Yes, the Rangers were completely outplayed in the third period, but they were still able to get the game into overtime and give themselves a legit chance to win. Plenty of positives to take away from this defeat.

…a couple of days off then Game 2 on Saturday night.

Highlights…

Post game talk…

Kevin

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If you have any questions e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

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