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Stanley Cup Finals Game 1: Win on the road

Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Six days after winning the Eastern Conference, the Ranger are in Los Angeles to take on the Kings in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s been a bumpy road to get here, and their opponent is a great one, but these Rangers will always stand a chance as long as Henrik Lundqvist is in net. If there’s a game to take in LA, it’s this one, as the Kings are on two days rest, one of them being a travel day.

Daryl Sutter has the Kings playing a system similar to that of John Tortorella’s Rangers. They generally run an aggressive overload 2-1-2 forecheck (forecheckers attack the same side of the ice) and they play a 2-1-2 zone defense off the wall (two guys take the hit zone, one takes the support zone, two have the slot). Once the puck moves up high, depending on the matchup, they’ll attack the blue line or collapse their forwards.  They play a hybrid penalty kill, and a 1-3-1/modified umbrella on the powerplay.

Kevin did a complete preview and breakdown of this series here. Justin looked at Jonathan Quick and some deficiencies in his game here.

Rangers Lines:

Forwards

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett

Defense

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Raphael Diaz-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: J.T. Miller (shoulder), Justin Falk (healthy), Dan Carcillo (suspension), John Moore (suspension)

Game time is 8pm on NBC. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

15 Responses to “Stanley Cup Finals Game 1: Win on the road”

  1. JWinAK says:

    LET’S GO RANGERS!

    (Sorry, not very insightful but I’m too excited for anything more in-depth)

  2. mikeyyy says:

    #believe

    If we can split the first two or take the first one it will be swift kick in every writers bum
    C’mon boys show em how “good” the EC is

  3. Dan S says:

    Well, it’s just about here. Roughly 150 minutes from now the puck will drop. And what a ride it’s been. Much as my heart is pulling Rangers, I see this as a very tough matchup for our guys, and would consider it a major upset for us to win. As superb as Lundqvist is, I expect Quick will look a lot better against us than against his last few opponents. I would imagine LA’s defense will tighten up as well, especially because they will not feel the same pressure to keep up with a high-powered offense. So I don’t think the edge in goal will prove as significant as some expect, or hope. The mismatch I’m most concerned about is at center. One of the reasons the Flyers pushed us to 7 games, in spite of their incredibly slow and spotty defense and questionable depth, was their ability to consistently win face-offs. Because of their size, they were also frequently able to stand us up at the blue line, especially on the PP, where they revealed a weakness it took us something like 7 games to address. These are two areas where the Rangers are vulnerable, and the Kings are incredibly strong. If we cannot hold the Kings’ advantage in face-offs to something like 60-40, then we really will need Lundqvist to stand on his head to have a chance of winning.

    I do think tonight is a critical game for the Rangers. I told my friend after the Canadiens beat the Bruins that, given the history of those two teams, and the length of the series, that the Habs were ripe for a letdown in Game 1, and I was right. And while the Kings are saying all the right things about being ready for tonight’s game, so were the Canadiens. It’s human nature to have difficulty making the switch to concentrating headlong on a new foe when the one you’ve bested is such a major rival. I also think fatigue is a factor, and that as transcendent a talent as Doughty is, he’s still human. The minutes add up after a while; the hits do too.

    It’s funny–we all thought if we made the ECF we’d be facing the Bruins, and most of thought that our playoff run would probably end there. Well, in the Kings, it’s kind of like we’re facing the WC equivalent of the big, bad, grind-you-down Bruins. And maybe this is our chance to show that–you know what?–even if the Bruins had won, we would have beaten them too.

    Whatever happens, this has been very special. I’ve never been a championship-or-bust type. Obviously, when you come this far, you want to win it all–and it’s not like the Rangers win it so often that it’s easy (if it’s ever easy) to be satisfied with second-best. But the Rangers have overcome so many obstacles to get to this point. I know, now that we beat the Pens and the Habs, it’s become almost cliche to make it seem like we beat two second-rate teams. But the Pens had 109 points this season–more than the Kings, more even than the Blackhawks, I believe. And how soon people forget how sexy a pick the Habs were after they knocked off Boston, and everyone was gushing about Subban and their skill players and what not.

    The point is, we earned this, we belong here. We deserve to be an underdog, but we also showed in the the third period Thursday night that when we bring our A+ game, we can be an absolute handful for the other team. (We also showed that even then, we still struggle to put the damned puck in the net.)

    Let’s Go Rangers!

    • Walt says:

      Dan
      Agree with 99% of what you said. If we came this far, and it’s been 20 years since we were in the finals, then if we don’t win, well it’s a disappointment. I’ve been down this road too many times, and I want a victory in 5, 6, or 7, but a victory just the same!!

      LGR

  4. Bort says:

    Rangers are more rested, Kings have been hearing people tell them how Rangers don’t have a chance for a few days now, and Rangers have a good road record.

    We have a good chance tonight.

  5. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Let’s Go Rangers!!!!

  6. Chris. C says:

    Sorry boys, kings no match for us. Only concern is the center position. Quick isnt that great of a goalie. Tired of hearing the same ol nonsense. Bury the puck boys game 1 score
    4-1 Rangers.

  7. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    One bad Stepan play from being a perfect first period. The speed just as it did with Montreal is catching the Kings off guard.

  8. Chris F says:

    Oh man…. Hagelin PK breakaway with 30 seconds left. Then Hank with the crazy save with 15 seconds left. OT? Why, of course!

  9. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Need a better OT showing. That third was a bad as the Rangers have been dominated in the playoffs this year (felt like the Boston series last year).

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Well the Rangers did not deserve to win that one. They need to be MUCH better to have any chance. What a horrendous turnover by Girardi.

      • Ray V says:

        I think the Stepan turnover in the 1st was worst than Girardi in O.T. The Stepan turnover gave the Kings life.

  10. Chris F says:

    Oddly enough, the Rangers went toe-to-toe on faceoffs. Alas, not enough.

    Too many botched chances when there were open shots to take.

  11. ROBERT MINTZ says:

    Diaz, Staal bad…

    Nash needs to stop passing the puck, shoot it.

    Richards on the PP is horrible, lucky we haven’t been burned.

    Strahlman played great.

    Kreider played both great and poor.

    Again, stupid penalties but we frustrated them.

    What happened between the first period and the third? Rangers looked worn out.

  12. Leatherneckinlv says:

    They got away from their game…too many turnovers of the silly kind…I agree they need to shoot the puck with net front presence