Derek Stepan

Rangers 2, Kings 1

The New York Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Kings by the score of 2-1 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Kings lead the series 3-1. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.

…and we’re still breathing, Rangers fans. Barely, but breathing nonetheless. The Kings outplayed the Rangers for a large majority of the game, but all that matters when you’re down 3-0 is getting a tally in the win column and that’s exactly what the Rangers did tonight. One shift at a time boys, one shift at a time.

…great job by AV stealing the Kings Game 3 strategy of relying on puck luck and ridiculous goaltending.

…Lundqvist is 8-0 with a .968 save percentage in his past 8 elimination games at home. He’s also 5-0 with a .971 save percentage in five elimination games this postseason. Can you say money player?

…if Lundqvist was the #1 star tonight, the slush in the crease was #2…

creasesnow2

creasesnow

…loved the Rangers setting the tone physically in the first period with some big checks. Hell even Rick Nash was throwing the body around. Third straight game the Rangers out hit the Kings.

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….i’m pretty sure Stralman earned at least $250K more in free agency this offseason with his goal line save and this hip check. Rangers fans need to hope this series goes seven games to help increase NHL revenue and next year’s cap so Sather can bring him back…

stralmanhipcheck

…speaking of free agents who are going to get paid, Pouliot seems to have put the bad penalties that haunted him earlier in the postseason behind him and is back to just scoring big time goals again.

…still very concerned about the Rangers mindset when they take a lead. While they got away with it tonight, if they keep sitting back, especially in the third period, they’ll continue to pay the way they did in Games 1 & 2. The Blueshirts have been outshot 65-34 in the third period & overtime in this series. They need to be way more aggressive. Now’s not the time to get conservative.

…Sutter should just hypnotize his team into thinking they start every game down two goals. They’d be unstoppable.

…now that AV smartened up and dropped Richards to the fourth line, he needs to complete the job by replacing him on the power play point with Stralman.

…another guy who might need to be replaced by Stralman is Girardi, who’s resembled Stu Bickel more than the guy who just signed a six-year $33 million extension in this series. I’ll give him a pass on his stick breaking, but he was absolutely dusted by Carter in the second period. #teampylon…

girardidust

…while Richards and Nash continue to put up zeroes on the scoreboard, St. Louis keeps scoring clutch goals. It’s nice to finally have a super star who produces under pressure for the Rangers.

…the Kings seem more comfortable playing the role of the hunter, than the hunted in the playoffs. In 2012, they allowed the Devils back into the Stanley Cup Finals after going up 3-0 and they almost blew a 3-1 lead to the Blackhawks in the Conference Finals this postseason. Not every team can deal with that change in mindset.

…it’s amazing how one win can change the complexion of a series. The Kings will now be under a ton of pressure in front of their home crowd  Friday night to avoid going back to New York for a Game 6. At 3-1, the Rangers have a pulse and the knowledge that they can comeback from that kind of deficit.

…hold onto your hats Rangers fans, this is about to get real fun.

Highlights…

Post game talk…

Kevin

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