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Category: Game Thread

Stanley Cup Final Game Two: The need for a split in LA

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

Well the series didn’t start the way we had hoped. Jumping out of the gate to a 2-0 lead, the Rangers were eventually overrun by a very physical Kings team, losing in overtime. It was a game the Rangers could have won, but turnovers were costly, leading directly to a pair of Kings goals, including the winner. There is a dire need to win Game Two tonight, as heading home down a pair of games to a great LA team is a daunting task.

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 atJonathan Quick and some deficiencies in his game here.

Rangers Lines:

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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:

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Eastern Conference Finals Game 6: Spare us agony, please win tonight

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

After Tuesday’s debacle, the Rangers are back home with another chance to close out the Eastern Conference Finals and play either the Kings or the Hawks. A desperate Canadiens team, without Dale Weise but with Brandon Prust, stands in their way. Raphael Diaz is in the lineup tonight, subbing for the suspended John Moore.

Suit wrote a preview of the series, and you should definitely be reading that. Justin also scouted out Carey Price, who is skating but still not playing. This series can’t go to Montreal for a Game Seven. It simply can’t.

Rangers Lines (unconfirmed):

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Eastern Conference Finals Game 5: Finish them

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

For the first time in 20 years, the Rangers are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals. They found a way to win a Game Four that they didn’t deserve to win, and now hold a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Canadiens. Derek Stepan is a maybe go for tonight. If he can’t go, one of JesperFast/Oscar Lindberg will dress for the injured J.T. Miller.

Suit wrote a preview of the series, and you should definitely be reading that. Justin also scouted out Carey Price, and if this series goes beyond tonight we may see him back in net. It’s time to end this series, and get some much-needed rest.

Rangers Lines (unconfirmed):

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Eastern Conference Finals Game 4: Rebound, put them on the brink, supply Kleenex

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Rangers dropped Game Three in overtime after Alex Galchenyuk scored off his face, putting the Habs back in the series despite beating Hank clean just once so far. After that, we had two very entertaining off days involving fake injuries, cameos at practice, injury threats, and probably some form of first-born stealing. But none of that matters. The Rangers are now without Derek Stepan and Dan Carcillo, but are at least getting Derick Brassard back. The Habs are without ex-New York favorite Brandon Prust.

Suit wrote a preview of the series, and you should definitely be reading that. Justin also scouted out Carey Price, but that’s relatively useless now (but he should probably do one on Dustin Tokarski….hint hint Justin). This is a big game for both teams. If the Rangers lose, they squandered every advantage they had by taking the firs two in Montreal. If they win, then they have a stranglehold on the series.

Rangers Lines (unconfirmed):

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Eastern Conference Finals Game 3: Put the Habs on the brink

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

For the first time in what seems like forever, the Rangers have a two-game lead in a playoff series, and enter tonight with a chance to put the Habs on sweep watch. The Blueshirts dominated Game One, and Hank stole Game Two. Now the good guys are home for Games Three and Four and a chance to put the series away early.

Although the Habs are without Price, they are still a deep and skilled team with solid defensemen. They are built just like the Rangers. Suit wrote a preview of the series, and you should definitely be reading that. Justin also scouted out Carey Price, but that’s relatively useless now (Sorry Justin!). This is the time to take a stranglehold on the series.

Rangers Lines (unconfirmed):

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Eastern Conference Finals Game Two: Build on the lead

Ryan Remiorz / Canadian Press

Ryan Remiorz / Canadian Press

It’s amazing how quickly one game changes the perception of a series. This was supposed to be a low-scoring series and a battle of the goaltenders. Instead, the game ended 7-2 and Carey Price is done for the series. Dustin Tokarski will likely get the start in net, which is a significant downgrade from Price.

Although the Habs are without Price, they are still a deep and skilled team with solid defensemen. They are built just like the Rangers. Suit wrote a preview of the series, and you should definitely be reading that. Justin also scouted out Carey Price, but that’s relatively useless now (Sorry Justin!).

Rangers Lines (unconfirmed):

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Eastern Conference Finals Game One: Conquering the Montreal demons

For the second time in three seasons, the Rangers will play for the Eastern Conference crown. Two years ago, an overachieving (and let’s face it, flawed) team made the best of their three lines and two defensive pairings before getting eliminated in the ECF. This time around, despite playing seven games in both series prior, the Rangers roll four lines and three pairings without fear. They were a trendy pick to win the Cup at the beginning of the year, and were a trendy pick to come out of the East when April rolled around.

Montreal is unlike either opponent the Rangers have faced these playoffs. They are deep, skilled, and have fantastic defense/goaltending. They are built just like the Rangers. Suit wrote a preview of the series, and you should definitely be reading that. Justin also scouted out Carey Price, and the results are not favorable for the Rangers. This is going to be a dogfight.

Rangers Lines:

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Metro Division Finals Game 7: Another Game 7

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Another series, another Game Seven. Do we expect anything else at this point? This time around, the Rangers roared back after trailing 3-1 in the series to force this Game Seven in Pittsburgh, so at least the scenario has changed this series.

Justin did an entire breakdown of this series, and it’s great reading if you haven’t done so already. The Rangers made me look smart when I said that if they win Game Five, they will win Game Six and send it back to Pittsburgh. Make me look even smarter when I said the Rangers are a great matchup against the Pens, and win this too to complete the comeback.

Rangers Lines:

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Metro Division Finals Game 6: Send it back to Pittsburgh

Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

On Friday night, the Rangers played their most complete game of the playoffs since their Game One victory over the Flyers in the last round. They sent a message with their 5-1 victory, but the Penguins received that message loud and clear. You can bet your life savings that they won’t allow that to happen again. But the Rangers are playing desperate hockey, so anything can happen. One game, one period, one shift at a time, and send it back to Pittsburgh.

Justin did an entire breakdown of this series, and it’s great reading if you haven’t done so already. The Rangers will need to find a way to win. I said if they win Game Five, then they will win Game Six and send it back to Pittsburgh. Let’s make me look smart.

Rangers Lines:

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