2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Despite the loss, Rangers show off their speed


LOS ANGELES — Jonathan Quick said the Rangers’ speed was no surprise to his Kings.

Justin Williams said his Kings “certainly weren’t ready for the speed of their wingers.”

We’re not sure if those two opinions mesh — if the Kings knew the Rangers were fast, shouldn’t they have been ready? — but that’s not really important. After Game 1, everyone should be on the same page now. The key for Los Angeles will be how it handles that New York speed going forward.

“Just don’t turn the puck over,” said Kings forward Mike Richards. “We gave them short ice to work with all night. When you turn the puck over at the blue line, everyone’s out of position and they’re coming at us with a lot of speed. So it’s just managing the puck better.”

Kyle Clifford had a similar, simple solution — get pucks deep and don’t allow the Rangers’ forwards to “have a transition game.”

The key for New York, meanwhile, will be to keep finding ways to get its speedsters the puck, with the opportunity to turn on the jets.

“I think we played with a lot of speed and we created a lot of chances,” said one of those speedsters, Carl Hagelin. “Although we might not have had that many shots, but the chances we had were pretty good chances. If you can continue creating a lot of chances, we’re going to have a good chance [at winning the series].”

Hagelin, in fact, had a great opportunity to get the Rangers a victory in Game 1, only to be stopped on a late breakaway by Jonathan Quick.

“There could have been a lot of storylines tonight,” said Williams, the overtime hero for L.A. “They had a breakaway in the end of the third period that Quick made a great save on, [or] we wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”

Larkin will start season with Red Wings

Dylan Larkin
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Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.

Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.

“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”

Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings

Preseason stats: Five goalies with good numbers, five goalies with…not

Anders Nilsson
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Yeah, yeah, it’s a small sample size and it’s just the preseason, but here are some goaltending stats anyway.

Five goalies with good numbers

Anders Nilsson, Edmonton — zero goals on 53 shots. His solid play a likely factor in the decision to waive Ben Scrivens, who actually wasn’t that bad in the preseason (4 goals on 56 shots).

Martin Jones, San Jose — three goals on 100 shots. The Sharks are rolling the dice on a couple of cheap goalies. Jones and Alex Stalock have a combined cap hit of just $4.6 million.

Jacob Markstom, Vancouver — three goals on 79 shots. Can he finally get over the NHL hump? If so, he could make it a real competition with Ryan Miller.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus — five goals on 122 shots. The Blue Jackets have scored a ton of goals in the preseason, but there remain questions about their blue line. Bobrovsky has the ability to make a so-so defense look good.

Anton Khudobin, Anaheim — two goals on 67 shots. A good early sign for the Ducks, who have Frederik Andersen in the starting role and want to give young John Gibson more time to develop in the AHL.

Five goalies with bad numbers

Thomas Greiss, Islanders — 14 goals on 94 shots. Has to be a bit of concern in Brooklyn. The Isles got below-average backup play last season from Chad Johnson. They wanted to fix that with the Greiss signing.

Robin Lehner, Buffalo — 11 goals on 95 shots. Tim Murray paid a hefty price to get the 24-year-old out of Ottawa. With the aforementioned Johnson in the backup role, the goaltending story is worth watching.

Jeff Zatkoff, Pittsburgh — 11 goals on 74 shots. Granted, Marc-Andre Fleury and Matthew Murray weren’t particularly sharp either. The Penguins conceded 28 goals in eight games.

Kari Lehtonen, Dallas — 15 goals on 84 shots. For a Stars team that desperately needs better goaltending, that has to be worrying. Antti Niemi wasn’t a whole lot better either, allowing eight goals on 65 shots. Fair question to ask — how many of all those goals were attributable to poor defensive play?

Pekka Rinne, Nashville — 12 goals on 91 shots. Has earned the benefit of the doubt, but thought we’d point it out anyway.