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.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.