The level of play was close in the first period of Game 2, yet Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan McDonagh ultimately made the biggest difference in giving the New York Rangers a 2-0 lead.
While Lundqvist thwarted the Los Angeles Kings on some big chances (at least when the Kings weren’t missing the net), McDonagh’s been all over the place.
Most noticeably, he gave the Rangers yet another 1-0 lead:
The 24-year-old was pretty nasty at times, leaving Jeff Carter banged up with a clean enough hit but drawing a two-minute minor for retaliating against Dustin Brown:
McDonagh bounced back after that, assisting on Mats Zuccarello’s 2-0 tally (the first goal by a Norwegian-born player in a Stanley Cup Final contest):
This is the 15th time the Rangers have scored first in 22 playoff games. So far they’re 10-4 in those contests. McDonagh played a big role in making that happen.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.