Well the Rangers didn’t get swept. Henrik Lundqvist was the star of the game, stopping 41 LA shots en route to the 2-1 victory, giving the Rangers their first win of the series. Benoit Pouliot and Marty St. Louis contributed all the offense the Rangers would need, as the difference maker –as per usual– was Hank. Jonathan Quick was somewhat human this game, stopping 17 shots.
In a series where puck luck has been the topic of conversation, the Rangers finally got some of their own. Twice during this game, the puck got through Hank and sat on the goal line. The first time, Anton Stralman tied up Jeff Carter’s stick before diving to move the puck. The second time a shot from the point (I believe from Jake Muzzin) got through Hank, and the bad ice stopped the puck from hitting the back of the net before Derek Stepan dove and shoved the puck under Hank.
Luck is luck, and you need some to win hockey games.
On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Kings 0
Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, and Benoit Pouliot did a good job of keeping the zone while on the powerplay. Eventually they got the puck to John Moore, whose shot was stopped by Quick, but the Rangers controlled the rebound. They eventually worked the puck back to Moore as Pouliot crept to the front of the net. Pouliot deflected Moore’s shot past Quick.
Rangers 2, Kings 0
Alec Martinez didn’t get the puck deep into the Rangers zone, as his dump was stopped by Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh got the puck to Marty St. Louis at center ice for a semi-3-on-2 with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider. MSL dropped the puck to Stepan and cut to the net. Stepan’s shot threw off Martinez because his stick broke. The puck took a lucky bounce off Martinez and under Quick to MSL who poked it into the empty net.
Kings 1, Rangers 2
Dan Girardi sure is having a rough series. This time, his stick broke trying to make a cross-ice feed on the powerplay, springing Dustin Brown for a breakaway. Brown made some nice moves and buried it under Hank for the shortie.
The Kings absolutely dominated this game, even before the Rangers sat back with their 2-0 lead. The Kings are the best in the league at controlling the puck, and this game was no different. The Kings had a whopping 60% Fenwick advantage at 5v5 close, and a 61.5% Fenwick advantage at regular 5v5. That’s absolute domination, and Hank really stole this one.
One game, one period, one shift at a time. The Rangers won and ensured the Kings wouldn’t celebrate for at least two days. The next goal is to send the series back home.