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.”