Rangers searching for answers ahead of game three

Clifford Davis

They have yet to trail in regulation during the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, they have held a two goal lead on multiple occasions in this series, including three different times in game two, they brought their ‘A’ game in game two as their coach pleaded; outplaying their opponent throughout, but they still trail the series 2-0.

The Rangers wouldn’t be criticized if doubts were to creep into their heads, wondering if they could possibly beat the Kings, but they remain a confident group, “We never quit all season. We always show some character, and I think it’s not going to be any different for this series,” said Rangers forward Derick Brassard.

The Rangers have been a resilient group throughout the season, refusing to give up or doubt themselves when everyone else did. A big part of that is Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who has had his pulse on this team all season long. He says the right things, he is not afraid to challenge his guys when he feels the need to, but he always has their back at the end of the day.

After game one, he challenged all his players to bring their ‘A’ game, if they were going to win game two. They responded accordingly, but still lost in double overtime, a heartbreaking loss that can linger for a while. He understands the importance of game three, at home, having to win to avoid being put in the daunting position of having to win four straight games against this powerful Kings team, saying, “Tomorrow is as close as a must game as we can have, until we face elimination.”

As resilient as the Rangers are, the Los Angeles Kings are just as resilient, if not much more. They refuse to quit, they always come at you, and they always seem to have an answer for their opposition, something the Rangers have not been able to counter.

The Rangers need to find a kill switch to put the Kings away, a switch no one has had this year. They have shown they can play with the Kings, been good enough to build multiple two goal leads on the road, just have not been able to put them away. Derick Brassard sees some positives even being down 0-2, saying, “I thought we were in control, every time they score a goal, we always answer. I think that’s something positive about this game(two) tonight.”

Game three at the Garden was supposed to be a time of celebration for Rangers fans, who have been waiting a week to show their team they appreciate them for what has been a fun spring, instead, there is likely to be nervous energy inside the building, with the Rangers desperate to get a win, and get themselves back in this series.

They had done everything they could to come home with at least a split in Los Angeles, but they have been outscored in the third periods and overtimes 4-0 in the first two games. They were on the wrong end of some questionable calls in game two, and the Kings don’t give up, no matter how many goals they are down.

If there is a level higher than the ‘A’ game for the Rangers, now would be a good time to bring that out, and just hope that would be enough to get past the Kings in game three, or else their run in the Stanley Cup finals will be brief.

 

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