LOS ANGELES — If the Rangers want to successfully rebound from blowing a 2-0 lead in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, they should look at a familiar Eastern Conference foe — the Boston Bruins.
It was the Bruins, after all, that opened the 2013 Cup Final in remarkably similar fashion to the Rangers, jumping out to a two-goal advantage. on the road, before losing to Chicago in overtime.
Like the Rangers, the Bruins blew a chance to steal home ice advantage right off the top. And like the Rangers, the Bruins had regrets.
“We had the game,” Tuukka Rask said, per ESPN. “We were up 3-1 in the third, and then a terrible turnover leads to a second goal, a tough bounce leads to the tying goal, and we just gave it away. We’ve got to be better than that.”
Aside from the terrible turnover thing (here’s looking at you, Dan Girardi), consider what Marc Staal had to say:
“Yeah, we had a shot to win the game. It’s frustrating that we didn’t come out and do it.”
Boston rebounded nicely in Game 2 last year, scoring a 2-1 OT win to even the series at one. The Bruins did it by flipping the script, so to speak — after falling behind early, they got stronger as the game progressed and out-shot the ‘Hawks 24-15 over the final two periods and OT.
“We got rewarded because I thought from the second period on, we were a good team, a better team,” head coach Claude Julien explained. “By the end, I thought we had more chances.”
Getting better as the game goes on is what the Rangers need to do in Saturday’s Game 2. The Blueshirts wilted as tonight’s contest progressed and the ice appeared tilted in the third period, confirmed by the shots on goal total:
Kings 20, Rangers 3.
That, obviously, can’t happen again if the Rangers have any hope of getting a split in Los Angeles — but there are fixes New York can make, according to Martin St. Louis.
“We did a lot of east-west stuff. They didn’t have to come back all the way in and play defense,” St. Louis explained. “They went back the other way and they got their forecheck going. We ended up spending a little too much time in our end zone and then it’s tough to get on offense when you’re trying to get off the ice. So a little bit of some of the stuff we did in the third.
“I don’t want to not give credit to them, but some of the stuff we did in the third we’ve gotta correct.”