Skip to content

PHT Morning Skate: Rangers hope home ice helps in Game 3

Jun 9, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

Mats Zuccarello, Benoit Pouliot AP

It may not seem like it’s time to call Game 3 a “must-win” game for the New York Rangers, but that’s the situation they’re in tonight at home.

After the Los Angeles Kings fought back in Games 1 and 2 to win in overtime in each game, the Rangers are back at home in Madison Square Garden for the first Stanley Cup Final game there in 20 years. They’ll have the crowd whipped into a fury just because that’s how it goes, and they’ll need that support to make sure they can strike back in a series where they’ve let things slip away.

Game 3: New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings [Los Angeles leads series 2-0] (8:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Cup Final has to be frustrating for the Rangers. They’re the only team that’s held a lead in either game, they’ve held multiple two-goal leads (one in Game 1, two in Game 2) and yet they sit down 2-0 in the series.

They may be down, but they’re not far from making this series a lot more interesting. Henrik Lundqvist has played strong, their third line of Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello looked dangerous in Game 2, and the “A” game coach Alain Vigneault said was missing in Game 1 was there on Saturday night.

One thing the Rangers will need to get figured out is stronger play from the blue line. Dan Girardi has struggled and Marc Staal has to a degree as well. Despite the points from Ryan McDonagh and steady play of Anton Stralman, the Kings are still getting a lot of chances.

If the Kings are going to be up 3-0 after tonight it’s going to be because they’ve cut down on the turnovers. So many of the Rangers chances are occurring because L.A. is forking the puck over and no one has been absolved of that. Everyone from Drew Doughty through Anze Kopitar have had blunders. If those get corrected tonight, it could be a tough game for the Rangers.

What to look for: Whether or not Matt Greene stays in the Kings lineup. Greene had a rough Game 2 as he coughed the puck up at inopportune moments and was getting routinely skated by Rangers forwards. His play there might be enough to inspire Darryl Sutter to get Robyn Regehr back in the lineup.

Latest Posts
  1. Season over: Avs lose MacKinnon to broken foot

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:43 AM EST

    Nathan MacKinnon Getty Images

    Huge blow to Colorado’s already slim playoff chances.

  2. In Edmonton, Yakupov’s future seems bright again

    Mar 6, 2015, 10:53 AM EST

    Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Which is good, considering he’s in the final year of his entry-level deal.

  3. Bruins sign Krug and Smith to contract extensions

    Mar 6, 2015, 9:50 AM EST

    Torey Krug Getty Images

    Both players were scheduled to become restricted free agents after this season.

  4. Stars’ Seguin could return within a week

    Mar 6, 2015, 8:50 AM EST

    Tyler Seguin Tyler Seguin

    He’s been out of the lineup since Feb. 13.

  5. Kings defeat Habs in shootout to tighten up West playoff race

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:36 AM EST

    Marian Gaborik, Drew Doughty AP

    Minnesota, Calgary and L.A. all win on Thursday.

  6. Predators’ losing streak hits five games

    Mar 5, 2015, 11:02 PM EST

    Pekka Rinne, Michael Grabner AP

    Brock Nelson scored the winner.

  7. Lawyer: Ribeiro to ‘vigorously fight’ $1M lawsuit alleging abuse of ex-nanny (Updated)

    Mar 5, 2015, 7:13 PM EST

    Mike Ribeiro Mike Ribeiro

    “At the same time, Mike will maintain his focus on doing all he can to help Nashville win its first-ever Stanley Cup.”

  8. Ovechkin (lower body) to miss first game of the season tonight

    Mar 5, 2015, 6:47 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Won’t suit up when the Caps take on Minnesota.

Featured video

Is there an issue with Babcock in Detroit?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Okposo (2996)
  2. H. Lundqvist (2881)
  3. T. Seguin (2681)
  4. F. Andersen (2346)
  5. M. Giordano (2306)
  1. H. Zetterberg (2194)
  2. T. Hall (2177)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1897)
  4. A. Ovechkin (1867)
  5. P. Sharp (1860)