Game Wrap-upsPlayoffs

Kings on verge of sweep after Game Three shutout

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Jonathan Quick made 32 saves, including a bunch of outstanding saves that left us thinking how he got that, en route to a 3-0 shutout in Game Three. The win gives the Kings a 3-0 series lead, and puts the Rangers in the precarious position of getting swept and watching the Kings lift the Cup in their house. It is not an enviable position.

Lady Luck played a huge role in this game, as the first two Kings goals came off deflections, while the third came off a blocked pass that took a lucky bounce back. Lady Luck seemed to have a crush on Quick as well, as he made a pair of absolutely ridiculous stick saves on Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard. That’s not to discount Quick, who legitimately stole this game, but stick saves like those are 10% skill and 90% luck. But he made the saves when they counted.

On Twitter, a lot of people put this game on Henrik Lundqvist, which I just laughed at. Quick has outdueled Hank, that’s for sure, but Quick has had tremendous support from a team that’s playing like they’ve been here before. Hank hasn’t had that support.

On to the goals:

Kings 1, Rangers 0


Rick Nash failed to get the puck deep into the Kings zone, allowing them to transition. Slava Voynov hit Justin Williams at the red line, who gained the zone with Jeff Carter. Williams somehow drew both Nash and JohN Moore to him, allowing Carter a clear lane to the net. Williams hit Carter with the pass, and Carter’s shot hit a sliding Dan Girardi, deflecting the puck over Hank’s glove with less than a second remaining in the first.

Kings 2, Rangers 0


The Kings had a great shift, sustaining solid pressure and puck possession. Eventually, a Jake Muzzin point shot hit off Martin St. Louis and past Hank (with Jeff Carter in front). There was no defensive breakdown on this one, just some good luck for the Kings, which they got all game.

Kings 3, Rangers 0


Girardi pinched on this play, trying to get some offense. Marian Gaborik was able to control the puck after the pinch, and poke the puck past St. Louis to Mike Richards for a 2-on-1 with Trevor Lewis. Richards tried to make the pass, but Ryan McDonagh stopped it, only to have the puck go right back to Richards, who buried it past Hank, who was already moving in the other direction from the pass.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of Extra Skater
Courtesy of Extra Skater

That’s a whole lot of score effects. Once the Kings went up by two, they completely shut it down.

The Rangers now face the daunting task of coming back from 3-0 down against one of the best teams in the league, on the verge of creating a dynasty that can rival the Blackhawks’ recent run of success. They came back from down 3-1 to Pittsburgh, so there’s always hope. Even if it’s just a sliver.

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  • When Carter scored with .7 seconds left in the first, I said the game was over. This LA team just shut us down, and Quick should be charged with highway robbery, he was that good last night!

    For the first time in this series I felt that the refs didn’t impact the outcome of the game. Folks, we were just out played by a better team last night.

  • I’ll take the sliver of hope, but really I think we are done for. This team has given everything it’s got against a team that has got just a bit more and against some ref’ing (and breaks) that on balance have favored the Kings.

    What ever happens I am extremely proud of this team and really hope people will can the blame game stuff against Nash, Girardi, etc. Nash was outstanding last night and has been good the whole P/O’s and Girardi is Girardi; solid.

    The team needs to b/o Richards decide on Stralman and sign the other guys. If they let Stralman go, they need another D. While I think McIlrath can make it, they’ll need more.

    I know some people are gonna bitch about the price paid to obtain MSL, but Sather did the right thing. This team has been a couple of bounces and ref calls away from being right in this series.

    I guess what I am saying is that even if they are swept out I will fondly remember this team. But changes will need to be made and more kids need to step up. Talking to you JT and you Oscar.

    What concerns me is Lundquist’s age. Was this his chance? It is so hard to get back here and this was the shot. $hit, this actually sux.

    But if they can make the right moves… or refrain from making the wrong ones. Not sure if the above is jumbled and disjointed, but I am working through the feelings of hope, desperation and now I guess, acceptance.

    • Gary

      To be honest about it, I never thought we would get this far, and I stated on many occasions that winning is everything. Well to be fair, this team over achieved, and I am proud of them.

      The first two games should have been ours, last night was a different story. Bottom line, BR has to go, re-sign the Brass line, get some youth in the line up, IE, Miller, and Oscar, Mc Ilrath, and see where that takes us. With this run under our belt, we may be the Pens of a few years back where they lost to the Red Wings, only to come back the next year and take it all!!!!!

  • We were outplayed, but more than on the ice, in goal. Henrik has not shut them down as he needed to. You may not think this game is on Henrik, but I think the series is. 11 goals in 3 Stanley cup games is too much. Yes Quick played outstanding, and yes the goals were deflections, but he still has to stop more of these.

    If you were to judge goalies in this series, Quick is head and shoulders above Hank.

  • What I failed to say earlier is how much these losses mean to me. I hate the Flyers west, aka, Carter, Richards, and Williams. It just rubs me the wrong way to see those turds grinning after they score. Damn it!!!!!!!

  • Let’s channel 192 Maple Leafs, guys. This is hockey, the series isn’t over ’til one team wins four games.

  • I want to echo some of what Gary and Walt said above. We should be proud of this team, hold our heads up high and look forward to the brighter days that are ahead.

    The Rangers ended the seasons of two of their hated rivals, Philly and Pittsburgh. As a matter of fact, the Rangers beat the Pens so bad they triggered a front office shakeup that could very well doom the Pens to wasting Cindy’s and Malkin’s final peak years.

    Nash may not have scorched the twine, but he played fine throughout the playoffs. Just last year, Jonathan Toews only managed 3 goals in 23 playoff games. It happens.

    We got to see McD bounce back from that late shoulder injury and take a step forward in his development, Zucc and Brassard showed us they can handle playoff hockey just fine, Kreider and Hagelin managed to become even better players, MSL made himself part of this team and Hank showed us he could bounce back from his sub par first half of the season.

    There will be a few changes this summer, Richards will hopefully be bought out, Stralman most likely has priced himself out of NY and it’s possible Boyle did the same. There are some kids to plug in and maybe a veteran replacement to take Richards’ slot.

    Let’s hope the boys play a strong game Wednesday and whatever happens get some rest and start building towards what could be an even better season starting in October.


  • Rangers need size….grit…mental toughness. We need to shore up the top 2 lines. Stepan should play with Kreider and St Louis. Brass Line move up to 2nd line. 3rd line should be Moore, Boyle and Hagelin and the 4th line Richards with Dorsett and Nash.

    McDonagh and Klein
    Staal and Girardi
    Moore and Stralman.

    Even though J. Moore was at fault for the 1st goal, I can see him becoming a Monster next year. He is going to get better and better.

          • Yeah he does…retire is a good place…He is not a super star nor a power forward….I don’t like you either Chris F….you are clueless in your comments majority of the time

          • That’s your prerogative.

            There’s a couple on here that probably agree with you. You guys all sound the same, so I figured it was a only matter of time until you joined in with the others.

          • I don’t really like Chris F, he talks a lot of BS.

            I do agree that Nash isn’t a superstar, but he’s not scrub. He’s a top-line caliber player still. He just isn’t experienced in intense meaningful hockey. All those years of getting slaughtered in Columbus will do that to a player.

          • Yea! That Chris F, he’s a real d!ck.

            Anyone else want to pile on while we’re getting this all out in the open?

  • The Kings bury their chances the Rangers don’t. Not enough (no?) real finishers on this team. They’re either past their prime (St. Louis, Richards), damaged goods (Nash) or nice players who are just not good consistently enough (Stepan in particular).

    The power play was 0-6 last night and 1-14 in the series. Its killing us and Richards is killing the power play. You don’t have to look much further than that. If I were the Kings I’d hook, interfere, slash and trip with impunity as long as I know number 19 will be out there on the point helping us kill the penalty by losing faceoffs in the offensive zone, taking forever to move the puck up the ice, failing to keep the puck in at the point and holding onto it forever on the rare occasions on which possession is established in the offensive zone.

    Try something different for Game 4. Better yet, bench Richards entirely because he’s just as bad 5 on 5.

  • Series isn’t over, but…yeah it pretty much is. Future looks fine, but I can’t help but wonder what could have been. We can’t take these opportunities for granted, it’s not easy to make the Stanley Cup Final.

    The Rangers let two games slip away in what might have been a long and interesting series (it still can be – but this isn’t Pittsburgh on the other side). I’m more disappointed than anything that they couldn’t capitalize when the Kings were vulnerable in games 1 and 2.

    You hear stories all the time about players that regret not grasping the opportunties to win after realizing how hard it is to get back, several of which never get back.

    What also stings is it validates what everyone said prior to the series, that the Rangers didn’t have a chance and the Stanley Cup Final were essentially being played out in the Western Conference Final series.

    • RFiB:
      Bud, I tend to line up with your rather sober framing above.

      At the same time, the conspiracist in me can’t help but think about the headlines from Europe: specifically, the recent revelations of corruption amongst elite and first level football referees and linesmen.

      If an NBA referee can be bought for $250K to throw a game–one game, if I remember–what might the price be for buying the NHL officiating crew who called Game Two? Two, three times that?

      Conversely, as you adroitly pointed out, opportunities were blown. Luck didn’t shine on The Blueshirts. Quickie is proving himself as the best in the West.

      But the impact of the non-players on Game Two’s outcome was nothing less than seismic in it’s effect on the series.

      My anguish is overwhelming. Our family have been Blue Seaters since Hadfield, Ratelle, Gilbert and Brad Park’s era.

      My favorite cousin was buried at Saint Raymond’s in The Bronx last year wearing his Vanbiesbrouck home jersey.

      Suffice to say this frickin’ hurts.

      Let’s get one tonight, for Walt, Leatherneck in LV, Scully, Dave, RFiB, myself, Alexei Cherepanov (RiP) and my cousin Joey Vizzini, laid to rest at Saint Raymond’s.

      • Fotiu

        We are all with you on this one. I thought that it could happen, but didn’t want to state it, “the pay off”, because it would sound like sour grapes!! If Buttman was any kind of man, or commissioner, he would be checking into it right now!! Do you hear us Gary, you worm???????

  • Such a breath of fresh air over here on this blog! So many others are complaining that the team lacked “heart” and “passion” last night, and that if we have more of that, we’d somehow win. Such bunk.

    This team has overachieved. They played very well last night. They’re giving all they got. It just wasn’t enough to beat Quick and an excellent Kings team, a team that has beaten all the best teams in the Western Conference. I’m proud of our guys and thrilled they made it as far as they have. Let’s win on Wednesday and send it back to LA.

  • Anyone know what the return would be to sign these two RFA’s? Brandon Sutter, Jakob Silfverberg and Zach Kassian? They are all RFA…I like all three but not sure what it costs to sign a RFA

  • This team has done heroic things this season and especially this playoff run.

    They need to hold their heads high, and go out and give their fans a show on Wednesday. It’s a home game in the Cup Finals. We’ve waited 20 years for this. Give us something to cheer for.

    And then, hey, who knows what happens next?

  • Last time I checked it was a best of 7

    Keep hope alive.

    #believe. We still have gas in the tank. One game at a time. We took out putzburgh we can take out the girls from la gear.

    Rumors point to mess coming on as asst coach. Good for next year.

  • Do you think we’ll see Carcillo tomorrow?

    Really nothing to lose at this point, so maybe AV gives him a chance to be a difference maker?

  • The Ranger skaters held their own at least last night and Lundqvist was fine. Two of the goals were just luck. The first goal however was on Girardi. Yes, Nash and Moore messed up to create the 2 on 1, but if Girardi isn’t there, the Kings don’t score. Under normal circumstances, Girardi was not in position, midway between the two players whereas he needs to cheat toward the guy in the middle because the puck can be sent to him quicker and almost any spot is between the right hand player and the net. And the dive is terrible. The only shot he can get his stick on would be one along the ice – an easy stop for Hank. So he risks the deflection for no gain whatsoever. In the actual game as it happens (and the players do not know this presumably), the far player is irrelevant because if he touches the puck, tie will expire.

    • Everybody is so upbeat. We are getting humiliated. Smile and look on the bright side if you want, but LA is having their way with us, and yesterday, we didn’t even put up a fight.

      Game 1 & 2, did LA quit in the 3rd period? Hell No. They went out there and took the game back. Where were we in the 3rd? Basically, what I would call a half-hearted effort.

      Disagree if you want, but AV is being out-coached, Hank is being out-goalied (not a word, I know) and the team is being out-classed out there.

      • Didn’t put up a fight? After falling behind, the Rangers out shot the Kings 17-8 in the 2nd and 11-2 in the 3rd.

        Quick was the story. Not lack of heart.

        • We need to stop counting shots on goal as quality scoring opportunities. At least 5 of the 11 shots in the 3rd period a bantam goalie could stop. We haven’t deflected one shot last game, making the saves relatively easy. They are in front making it difficult for Hank to see. Quick has been good, but he hasn’t had to make more than 1 or 2 tough saves a game.

          Defensively, I believe Stall and Girardi are playing poorly as well.

          • I agree that shots alone don’t tell the whole story, but they do indicate who is controlling the game.

            Obviously, with the Kings getting 2 shots all 3rd period, they didn’t really dictate much at that point.

      • SalMerc, thanks for raising the coaching match-up topic. I’m a novice, so what do others think about who’s done better, and why?

        • Agree with SalMerc for one main reason, AV has made no major adjustments to speak of. LA changed some lines up to shake things a bit, and they scored. AV has made zero changes with any lines. Old Einstein said it best, doing the same thing over, and over, and expecting different results, is nuts!!!!! My version as you can tell.

          • Agreed – You do not need to be Einstein to see that the PP with Richards isn’t getting it done. The 2nd line, isn’t getting it done. Would it have been so hard to let MSL and Hags play wing with D.Moore? Nash finally saw some PP time, but why did it take so long? The Zucc line needs to be your first PP unit.

            It may be too late for a Messier speech in the lockerroom, but it isn’t too late to start limiting the under-achievers time on the ice.

          • Lastly – if I sound angry, I am. Paid $1k for a seat to last nights game and saw a shadow of the team that beat Philly & Pitt in Ranger sweaters.

  • Personally I’m seeing a different series than everyone else. By the minutes we’ve been the better team. We outplayed them in the first periods of both games, played the better game overall in Games 2 and 3.

    It’s results-oriented at this point and a lack of finish has put us in an 0-3 hole. Have we been dominated? At times, yes. Do we lack reliable finishers in the lineup? Of course.

    But not showing any heart? Not dominating at times ourselves? Not owning possession last night? Not creating solid chances every game, every period? Laying down for the Kings? I can’t agree with any of the above whatsoever.

    This series has come down to Quick’s timely saves and bad bounces. I’m convinced the hockey gods don’t want the Rangers to win this series because with any of the aforementioned going the Rangers’ way, this series could be 3-0 Rangers.

    Nobody’s questioning who the better team is or whether the Kings deserve to be a win away from a second cup in three years. But hockey is a game of bounces, and it’s ridiculous to assert that the Rangers haven’t played well enough to win. I’m proud of this team.

    • 100% agree with this. I’m often disgusted by this reactionary fanbase. It’s one thing to criticize your team when they don’t seem to play to the level they should, when they give up, when they fail to show up. But way too many people are ready to blow everything up and completely malign the team, the coaches, and the organization when they don’t get the results the want. They sound like entitled brats, who don’t seem to get any satisfaction from seeing their team fight against the odds to get to the Finals. If they don’t win a Cup, half these “fans” want to take their ball and go home. I’m not really sure why they’re Rangers fans to begin with.

      This series hasn’t played out like the 3-0 deficit suggest. I question whether some fans even watched the games.

      • Chris

        Have you ever given thought that maybe posts like this above may be the reason some of the others had to say what they did about you today. I didn’t post anything, I just laughed, and thought maybe they are right?????

        Thinking out loud!!!!!

        • From what I can tell, Walt, the only people who have an issue with me are the ones who themselves have a very bad track record in the civility department.

          I get along with most everyone, but I don’t have much patience for those who come here just to tear everything and everyone apart and who insult those of us with less apocalyptic views.

          I don’t really have a problem with you. I agree with some of what you have to say, and disagree with some. What I don’t really care for is how you choose to express yourself but that’s not really my concern unless you make it personal which you have in the past and others are doing today.

          I get enough stress watching the Rangers.

  • Sutter made in-game and between period changes where AV did not.

    Let’s see, Richards is a defensive liability on the PP, okay, then let’s keep playing him until they score short handed goals on us at will.

    This is a coaching miscue, Scott Arnel or AV, who cares who has the last say? It ain’t working, period.

    Staal looks like he is sleepwalking out there. See ya, have fun with your brothers.

    Why is Stephan chewing on a mouthpiece? He has a
    full face shield on, habit I guess.. He played his best shift after coming back from the surgery against Montreal, and has looked lost since.

    I can understand when some players have an off game, but the whole entire team?

    This shows a distinct lack of leadership.

    Girardi is either hurt or is skating in sand and aged since the beginning of the Playoffs.

    They still took stupid penalties last night, yet again. How dumb do you have to be? Keep your stick on the ice, your hands on the stick, keep your elbows down. How difficult is this?

    If Carcillo plays instead of Richards, he may end his own career doing something ridiculous.

    Elimination games are supposed to be the hardest to win for the team ahead. Please, at least make it close, otherwise, we will be the laughing stock of the league. I know that Islander fans are overjoyed.

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