Mats Zuccarello

PHT Morning Skate: Kings go for sweep in Game 4


The Los Angeles Kings have been in these shoes before. Just two years ago they were up 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils and looked to complete the sweep. The Devils managed to win two games before L.A. bounced them out in six.

The New York Rangers would like to do what the Devils did and then some this time around, but things seem different this time around.

Game 4: New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings [Los Angeles leads series 3-0] (8:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

Everything that could go wrong has for the Rangers in the Final.

When Henrik Lundqvist has played strong, the Kings have gotten the fortuitous bounces. When the offense has done well, the defense let them down. When they’ve established two-goal leads, they’ve only evaporated. So what’s left in Alain Vigneault’s bag of tricks? There’s at least one option.

Forward Daniel Carcillo is eligible to return for Game 4 and his presence may be needed to spark a little bit of life in his teammates. During yesterday’s press availability, the Rangers had the same feeling about them that a man headed for execution might. Doom, gloom, and a bleary future awaiting. With Carcillo’s six-game suspension up, perhaps a little new blood is what they need.

All of that may not mean much if Jonathan Quick plays the way he did in Game 3. His outstanding play on Monday night was the type of series-swinging thing New York didn’t need in a virtual must-win situation. Now they’ll look to Lundqvist to try and do the same the rest of the way.

Lundqvist has done it once before in these playoffs, just ask the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the Kings are a different kind of beast. Of the 11 goals scored by L.A. in this series, all of them have been scored by a different player. Stopping that kind of attack makes the Rangers’ task at hand all the more difficult.

Ortio clears waivers, assigned to Flames’ AHL team

Joni Ortio
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Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.

The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),

But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.

In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.

Jarred Tinordi becomes the latest youngster to be sent to the AHL for ‘conditioning’

Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher
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Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.

It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.

Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.

Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.