Skip to content

Coronation close: Kings blank Rangers, one win away from Stanley Cup

Jun 9, 2014, 11:11 PM EST

KingsWinMSG Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings as close as they can get to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Mug.

The Rangers, meanwhile, couldn’t feel further away from it.

That was the story from Madison Square Garden on Monday night, as the Kings dispatched of the Rangers 3-0 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, taking a commanding 3-0 series lead to move within one victory of their second Cup in three years.

On a night of storylines, it’s hard to say which was more compelling — L.A. continuing its uncanny ability to grind out results, or New York getting absolutely deflated in what, heading in, was hyped as the biggest hockey game in the city in the last 20 years.

The acts of deflation were plenty, and consistent. Jonathan Quick took the air out of MSG in the early stages of the opening period, saving  what looked to be a Mats Zuccarello goal with his paddle. Then, at the tail end of the frame, Jeff Carter sucked further life out of the arena by scoring with 0.8 seconds left — to give L.A. its first lead of the series.

Even though the deficit was one goal, you got the feeling the Rangers were cooked.

Some of it had to do with that deflating feeling, but most of it had to do with Quick. The Kings goalie put forth his best effort of the Stanley Cup Final — and, really, his best effort in a couple of weeks, given his struggles in the Chicago series — finishing with a 32-save shutout for his first clean sheet since Game 5 of the opening series against San Jose.

While Quick was doing his thing, his L.A. teammates continued to add to their lead.

Jake Muzzin scored his sixth of the playoffs on the power play early in the second period, and Mike Richards scored his third at 17:17 to cap off the scoring for good. While this was happening, New York kept finding new ways to let the air out of the building — the Rangers went 0-for-6 on the power play in Game 3, putting them at 1-for-14 overall in the series.

For the Rangers, tonight’s game was the latest in a series filled with frustration and disappointment. The Rangers blew four two-goal leads in the opening two games in L.A. and couldn’t muster a win despite twice taking the Kings to overtime; on Monday, the Blueshirts failed to take advantage of a loud, partisan home crowd that seemed desperate for something to cheer for.

Looking ahead, the Rangers also now face the prospect of having to deal with a dialed-in Quick, who hasn’t allowed a goal in over 110 minutes of action.

For the Kings, tonight’s game got them to the brink of another Cup, and provided some symmetry. The script is eerily similar to how they won the Cup in 2012. — two years ago, they beat the Devils in OT in the opening two games before capturing Game 4 by a 4-0 scoreline; this year, they again won two overtime games to start the series before capturing the third, 3-0.

The 2012 Stanley Cup Final did end up going to Game 6, though, which begs the question: Will the Rangers find a way to extend this series on Wednesday, or will we see our first finals sweep since Detroit broomed Washington in 1998?

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Oilers awarded a penalty shot in overtime

    Nov 27, 2014, 10:50 PM EST

    Jordan Eberle Getty Images

    Shea Weber covered the puck in the crease.

  2. Hextall: ‘My biggest concern is consistency’

    Nov 27, 2014, 10:35 PM EST

    2013 NHL Draft Getty Images

    Flyers play host to the Rangers Friday afternoon.

  3. Report: Kontiola joins KHL club Lokomotiv

    Nov 27, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

    Petri Kontiola Getty Images

    Struggled in the American Hockey League this season.

  4. Sens confirm Alfredsson to be honored Dec. 4

    Nov 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EST

    Daniel Alfredsson AP

    Expected to formally announce his retirement next Thursday morning.

  5. Coyotes ‘hope we can make a deal’ with trade target Vermette

    Nov 27, 2014, 5:15 PM EST

    Antoine Vermette

    Talented center would be a prized pickup at the deadline.

  6. Remparts sold to Quebecor, will move to new Quebec City arena

    Nov 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Quebec Remparts v Drummondville Voltigeurs Getty Images

    Patrick Roy doesn’t own part of a junior team anymore.

  7. Lowry suspended one game for boarding Kaleta

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:41 PM EST

    Lowry-Kaleta

    Incident occurred during Wednesday’s Jets-Sabres game.

  8. Canucks’ Kassian out a ‘few weeks’ with finger injury

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:27 PM EST

    zackkassiangetty Getty Images

    Linden Vey gets back into the lineup for tomorrow’s game in Columbus.

  9. Garbutt suspended two games for ‘reckless’ knee-on-knee hit

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:12 PM EST

    GarbuttHallKnee

    Dallas forward has history as a repeat offender.

  10. Not so big and bad anymore, the Bruins would like to add some ‘heaviness’

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:03 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two Getty Images

    That’s a picture of Shawn Thornton, who doesn’t play for them anymore.

  11. After ‘disappointing’ road trip, is DeBoer on the hot seat?

    Nov 27, 2014, 1:16 PM EST

    Peter DeBoer AP

    Devils currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference.

  12. Flyers waive Akeson

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:29 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Played in 14 games over parts of the last three seasons.

  13. Report: Justin Schultz to be healthy scratch versus Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:17 PM EST

    Justin Schultz AP

    Following Tuesday’s “mind-numbing” change in Dallas.

  14. After 21-game absence, Fisher (ruptured Achilles) back for Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:02 PM EST

    Mike Fisher Getty Images

    Big boost for Nashville, who hosts Edmonton tonight.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2547)
  2. V. Hedman (2449)
  3. P. Datsyuk (2381)
  4. D. Krejci (2012)
  5. P. Sharp (1999)
  1. B. Elliott (1797)
  2. Z. Chara (1696)
  3. B. Marchand (1641)
  4. S. Varlamov (1636)
  5. B. Dubinsky (1566)