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PHT Morning Skate: Rangers look to tie series before heading home

Jun 7, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

Henrik Lundqvist, Kyle Clifford AP

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final drops the puck tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Kings would like to replicate the success they had on Wednesday night but with a few more pucks getting past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

The Rangers, meanwhile, hope Lundqvist can hold down the fort just as strong while the rest of the team uses their speed and skill to send the series to New York knotted up at a game apiece.

Game 2: Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers [Los Angeles leads series 1-0] (7:00 p.m. ET — NBC)

One thing the Kings were able to do in Game 1 was dominate in shots on goal. In all they put 43 shots on Lundqvist and thoroughly dominated the third period outshooting the Rangers 20-3.

With that brand of puck control and the quality of scorers the Kings have up front and on the blue line, chances were good they were going to find a way to come out on top. If Los Angeles has their puck control game going strong again, the Rangers could be in for another long night.

The Rangers want to change that up. Coach Alain Vigneault, in essence, called out his team saying they can’t bring their “B” game against L.A. While that means finding ways to turn the game and the shot counter against the Kings, it also means getting stronger games from guys like Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, and Brad Richards.

Part of solving that issue is finding ways to get Stepan’s line with Nash and Chris Kreider away from Anze Kopitar. The Kings’ Selke Trophy candidate more or less shadowed Stepan in Game 1. Kopitar with Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik have been very effective at both ends of the ice and the Rangers have to find a way to get their skill guys away from them.

Thing to watch for: The Rangers’ speed game. One thing that threw the Kings off in Game 1 was how fast many of the Rangers forwards were, especially Kreider and Carl Hagelin. Can Vigneault find a way to use that to their advantage in Game 2 or will Darryl Sutter already have a solution plotted for his defense?

  1. nightfireop - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    not trying to undermine the rangers in any way, the rangers have all of my due respect. however, isn’t one of the weaknesses of a “speedy team” that the legs will eventually tire out either after a prolonged game or a prolonged series (ex: game 7)?

  2. papajack1259 - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Rangers missed their opportunity last game LA will not be caught flat footed tonight. Henri has to shut down Kings it is on him…..Maybe St. Louis can put one in
    We have not seen LA s best the Question is have we seen NYs best?

  3. gmen4trophies - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Tonight is all about whether the rangers can make a series out of this, nothing less.

  4. blomfeld - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Question: will Darryl Sutter already have a solution plotted for his defense?

    Answer: do fish like water ? :)

    GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. joey4id - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Rangers do have speed, but that won’t cut it against a team that also has speed. The Kings’ ability to forecheck and relentless puck pursuit gives them the edge. Kings had a terrible start because they were suffering from only a couple days rest after another 7 game series hangover. If their forwards weren’t struggling they might have a chance. The player leading the team in points is a d man, and he only has 3Gs. That’s not good enough. Staal and Girardi are going to see a lot of black coming at them at a fast and furious pace. Go Kings!

    • biffnasty - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Haha man that is gold. Always thought joey4givesBJs was a fraud

  6. bleedrangerblue - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    The Rangers were one shot away from winning last game. They have always bounced back after a loss. I expect the Rangers to win the battles and win the game. LGR!!!

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