Kings crowned! Rangers lose another heartbreaker, LA Kings win Stanley Cup Final
By Clifford Davis
Three Stanley Cup Final games in Los Angeles, three overtime games. The Rangers were once again dominated in the third period of the Stanley Cup Final while they were holding a 2-1 lead. This time it cost them their season, as the LA Kings tied the game in the third period, and then won the game in double overtime, winning the Stanley Cup.
Mats Zuccarello was called for a questionable tripping penalty in the third period, during the Kings push that set up the game tying goal. The Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the second period after goals by Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle. The Kings had a 1-0 lead and control of the game up until that point, but New York begin to make a push, and taking the lead. As has been the case almost the entire series, LA came out hard in the third period and the Rangers again had no answer.
The Kings pressure from the start of these games seem to effect the Rangers by the time the third period rolls around. They’re sloppy, careless and always a step behind Los Angeles in the third period. The game would have been over had it not been for Henrik Lundqvist, who was great again tonight, especially when the game was tied 2-2. He had 48 saves in the game.
Lundqvist allowed a lot of second chances tonight, but he was outstanding overall when the Rangers absolutely needed him, except on the last shot however. Alec Martinez scored the game winning goal for the Kings in double overtime on a big rebound after an initial save by Lundqvist with his right pad. The puck bounced right to Martinez, who shot the puck past Lundqvist, who had no chance to react and make the save.
“During the regular time, he made great saves,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of his goaltender. “But in the overtime, we had some great looks, both goaltenders were outstanding.
This game was another thriller from the third period until the final shot in the second overtime. Both teams had chances in the overtime periods, both teams hit the post more than a few times and both goaltenders were on top of their game, keeping their team alive. Lundqvist almost single handedly took this series back to New York, then Alec Martinez happened.
Lundqvist laid on the ice after the puck went through the net while the Kings celebrated their second Stanley Cup in three years. The entire Rangers team was crushed as they lost another, close, thriller in Los Angeles, this time ending their season.
“We could have won all three games here, we went to overtime in all three games, I think we hit the post in all the games,” said Henrik Lundqvist. “They’re a great team, give them credit.”
Jonathan Quick was also great when he had to be. New York didn’t pepper him with as many shots as LA peppered Lundqvist, but he made some great stops, particularly in overtime when he stopped a Martin St. Louis wrist shot, and then a Chris Kreider breakaway in the final minutes of the first overtime. The Rangers had their chances in overtime, they overcame another tough third period, and they fought back like they have done all year, but it wasn’t enough.
“It’s a fresh wound right now, I’m proud of every guy in this room right now,” said Martin St. Louis. “We fought hard, just have to let this wound heal right now.
The Rangers have nothing to be ashamed about, no one expected them to make it this far, and they were heavy underdogs coming into this series. They played the Kings tough, they didn’t just give in after going down in the series 3-0 and they left it all on the table. The Los Angeles Kings were the better team.
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