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After two great games, Game 3 was a big dud in the Big Apple

Jun 10, 2014, 12:13 AM EDT

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three Getty Images

NEW YORK — It was a little over halfway through the second period when a fan stood up and bellowed – as only a New York sports fan can really bellow – “Do something!”

The fan was bellowing at the hometown Rangers, who to be fair hadn’t exactly done nothing to that point. They just hadn’t scored, unlike the Los Angeles Kings, who’d done so twice.

Not long after the bellow, the Kings took off on an odd-man rush and Mike Richards made it 3-0. The game was all but over. The series, by extension, was on the brink of ending, too.

Safe to say — and we really do hate to say it — but after two wildly entertaining games to start the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, the third one was a big dud in the Big Apple.

Not to the Kings or their fans, of course – for them, the 3-0 shutout win left them one victory from their second title in three years.

But certainly to the Ranger faithful, who hadn’t witnessed a Cup final game at MSG since June 14, 1994, when the Original Six club celebrated its first championship since 1940. The sellout crowd did its best tonight, but there was little to cheer for, especially compared to what Kings fans were treated to at Staples Center.

And also, presumably, to all the hockey fans with no real rooting interest, as the specter of the first Cup sweep since 1998 looms. This could’ve been such a great series, based on what we saw in Games 1 and 2. And while we suppose it still could be, it could also be over in two days.

“It’s pretty boring, nothing flashy, but we’ll take it,” said Anze Kopitar. “We realize that this kind of hockey got us here, and it’s going to take us from here on out. We just got to make sure we keep playing like that.”

Meanwhile, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist admitted that pessimism was getting difficult to stave off.

“You try to stay positive right now, but it’s tough,” said Lundqvist. “It’s really tough. I think we’re doing a lot of good things but when you look at the goals, you know, we put two in our net and just a tough play on the third one. At some point you’re going to have to need some puck luck and we don’t have any right now. It feels like they have all of it.”

New York outshot Los Angeles by a wide margin in Game 3 (32-15), and the Rangers indeed had their chances. But Jonathan Quick was spectacular when needed in the Kings’ net, and he was solid the rest of the time.

“I think that was his best game of the playoffs,” said Drew Doughty. “He played fantastic for us tonight. He made some big saves, saves he had no business making. His rebound control was good, his puck-handling was good, everything about his game tonight was great and he was a big reason why he won.”

“Well, he was obviously the best player on the ice tonight,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “But, you know, we got sort of a bad rush read on the first. We deflect in our net. Same thing happened in the second goal. On the third goal we played a two-on-one right, take the pass, goes right back on their stick. Give them credit. They found a way to put the puck past a real good goaltender, and we couldn’t do it.”

Down 3-0 and facing elimination, the Rangers had more important things to think about than tonight’s disappointed crowd, which included celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Robert De Niro and Bryan Cranston, the latter of whom received one of the loudest ovations of the night when he was shown on the video board. (Which said a lot about how things went for the home side.)

“It’s not about that,” said Anton Stralman. “It’s about winning hockey games. Right now, it’s not bouncing our way, obviously. It’s a bit frustrating, but at the same time, it’s another game Wednesday. … It’s not over. We put up a winning streak these playoffs already. We aim to do the same thing again. We have to start with one.”

Start with one. Then somehow get another on the road. Then come home and get another. Then it’s a Game 7, where anything can happen. Just ask the Kings. (Also, the Sharks.)

And don’t forget that New York has had its own big comeback this postseason, fighting back to beat Pittsburgh in the second round after trailing 3-1.

“We’ll see,” said Ryan McDonagh. “We’ve gotten out of deficits before. We believe in each other in here. We’re just going to keep preparing the same way and come out with everything we’ve got. We’ve got nothing to save it for now.”

The reality, though, is that only one team, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the Stanley Cup Final.

At the very least, can the Rangers make it interesting?

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Jimmy just needs more cowbell….and maybe to chomp on his drum sticks.

  2. canucks30 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    It’s been 16 years since we last saw a Stanley Cup Finals sweep but they used to be regular occurrence (5 in 7 years including 4 in a row from 1995-1998).

    People have been spoiled by terrific Stanley Cup Finals series the last decade and a half (for example, Colorado vs New Jersey, Calgary vs Tampa Bay, Edmonton vs Carolina, Detroit vs Pittsburgh X2, Chicago vs Philadelphia, Boston vs Vancouver, and Chicago vs Boston).

    • geauxshawx - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:13 AM

      I guess it’s not a terrific series if YOUR team is losing. For Kings/Western Conf fans, it’s gang-busters!

    • letsgocaps88 - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:58 AM

      I remember the 98 series , that broom hurt but then again it was 90’s hockey which was amazing. My favorite was EDM VS CAR. what a series

  3. gbart22 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    This is the same script as two years ago with another New York area based team in New Jersey. First two games went to overtime and could have easily gone either way third one was a clear kings win the devils came back won the next two and the kings finished it off in 6. Rangers will likely get the next one get it to 5 and the kings will finish in 5

    • geauxshawx - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      Yup. Will be more fun to win it in LA, too. Watching cop cars burn is always good after-game fun!

  4. canucks30 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    Another recent trend is teams clinching the Stanley Cup on the road:

    Chicago in Boston (2013)
    Boston in Vancouver (2011)
    Chicago in Philadelphia (2010)
    Pittsburgh in Detroit (2009)
    Detroit in Pittsburgh (2008)

  5. packerswin96 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Hey look, it is Will Wheaton and the wannabe late night David Letterman. They look disappointed.

    • hrudey - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:00 AM

      Pretty sure that’s Doug Benson. Wil Wheaton is a huge Kings fan.

      • sfp311 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        It’s actually injured Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey. Doesn’t look the same with a beard but hey, Tommy John is a long process.

      • hrudey - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Okay, that makes more sense. He looked way too not high to really be Doug Benson, but that was the only person I could see matching the face. Nice catch.

      • nj666 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        pretty sure its neither. but jimmy fallon is there, but he sucks and is not funny. It still wont stop NBC from shamelessly promoting him.

  6. blomfeld - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    SO DE NIRO IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE GUY ON THE LEFT ?

    Well if that’s the case then trust me friends, my own ‘personal’ pension plan is going to equal a ‘loaded’ Luger and a bottle of ‘expensive’ French wine … perhaps something along the lines of Château Lafite ’59 vintage or whatever? In the meantime however, man are these ever ‘good’ times eh ? Madonna, Bloomberg, Lundqvist & crew are ‘getting it’ from us in ways that they couldn’t have ever imagined ! … and you’ve just gotta love that ! Nonetheless, it’s critical that we Kings now go ‘berserk’ and run these bastards through, as nothing is more dangerous than ‘cornered & wounded’ vermin.

    MADONNA = A ‘REPULSIVE & AGED’ TROLLOP !!!

    __________________________________________

    *** earlier tonight at a worker’s pub in the Spandau district of Berlin ***

    Stransky: well then Blom, what do you make of that ?

    Meyer: take it easy man … Blom said that we ‘had’ these people before it even started eh ?

    Stransky: I know, I’m only teasing comrade Blomfeld … but what say you now friend ?

    Blomfeld: final victory will be ours ?

    Meyer: it will indeed friend ! :)

    Blomfeld: entschuldigen Sie mich … konnte wir bitte haben eine andere Runde von Getränken?

    Waitress: natürlich … irgendetwas für den Kameraden Blomfeld ! :)

  7. 19to77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    “You try to stay positive right now, but it’s tough,” said Lundqvist. “It’s really tough. I think we’re doing a lot of good things but when you look at the goals, you know, we put two in our net and just a tough play on the third one.”

    Oh, hey, Henrik’s doing that thing again. You know, where he piles his teammates under the bus and drives over them.

    • geauxshawx - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:27 AM

      But it’s NOT his fault. King ran into him! Oops, that was last game’s excuse…

    • hrudey - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      But the important thing is that they’re playing really well and doing a lot of good things. Sure, they’re down 3-0, but they’re looking good doing it. And meanwhile, the Kings are up 3-0 and never happy with their performances.

      Fortunately for Lundqvist’s teammates, his teammates will deflect off the bus and past Lundqvist.

    • thefutureofoil - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Thank you for noting that. I was thinking the same thing when I saw him say it. You didn’t see Quick say anything when he stopped a breakaway only to see the puck go in the net off of Voynov’s skate.

      Me thinks the “king” is realizing he’s never getting a Cup.

    • blomfeld - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      YES, THEY’VE DOCTORED THE PHOTO !

      Upon closer analysis, my friend Stransky (physicist & expert in forensic causation analysis) and his team have concluded with 99.6% ‘certainty’ that the above photo features Rod Steiger on the left (circa 1962) and a young Robert De Niro on the right (circa 1976) … or in other words friends, it’s been ‘photo-shopped’ as they say.

  8. malinpaul - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:40 AM

    I felt like this game could easily have been 3-1 Rangers given Quick’s saves and the deflections on the Kings’ goals. Then consider the Kings didn’t have the lead in the first game…

    this could be the closest sweep of all time.

    • hrudey - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:10 AM

      Could have been and close won’t win them Lord Stanley’s Cup, but they’re sure front-runners for Baron Kesler’s Sippy Cup.

  9. kingsfan93 - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:34 AM

    Not to sound bitter about all this, but…..

    I am really happy to see the Kings vs Rangers in the SCF. A match-up that I have waited for a long time. To see Kings play against H. Lundqvist and M. St. Louis is special.

    But I am glad to see the Rangers going down 3-0 in the SCF because I feel if it wasn’t for C. Kreider running into C. Price of Montreal Canadiens, it could of more than likely been Montreal Canadiens against the Kings.

    Also, happy knowing NYR are going down against Kings because of the b.s. embellishment and cheap hits NYR players have done against the Kings. So that to me is a team that is a dirty team that plays unfair that do not deserve to win the SC.

    Go Kings Go!!!

    • davidmessina63 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      Said the Montreal fan

    • dannymac17 - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Wouldn’t have mattered. Kings would have steam rolled them.

  10. Eutaw's Finest - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    My 2 cents:

    1. I think the most overplayed/overused excuse in hockey is “the bounces just aren’t going our way” a la Stralman and Henrik. I saw PLENTY of bounces go their way last night. Pucks were landing on their sticks in and around the crease all night. What I also saw was Quick standing on his head. How hard is it to give Quick credit for playing great as opposed to the cop out of “well we just aren’t getting the lucky bounces?”

    2. I feel like the Rangers have relied too heavily on speed rushes and odd man breaks. Which may be effective early in the game, but towards the end, even the burners get winded. Proof you say? The Rangers have scored 6 goals in this series through 3 games: 4 in the 1st period, 2 in the second period, and ZERO in the 3rd/OT. And give them an opportunity for a set play with a man advantage in the PP, and they are still just awful: 1 for 14 in the series, and 12 of 95 in the playoffs overall. How does that stack up to the 13-14 regular season? They would be 29th in the league in PP % ahead of only Florida. Yikes.

    • geauxshawx - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Yes! And for all you “hockey gods” believers who say they’re smiling on Kings, it cuts both ways. These same “gods” saw Krieder’s hit on Price, too.

  11. bbmadface - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    The Kings are simply better. We witnessed that last night

  12. penvik - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    I’ll say it for the hundredth time. This cup final is tainted. Neither Montreal or NYR should have been in the east final. It should have been Pitt or Boston hands down. The SCF is a disgrace and it’s almost solely the fault of the reffing and the way the rules are followed. We need to go back a few year and call ALL obstruction. Hate this let them play bs. Penguins vs. Kings would have been epic. Don’t think the kings could have handled the Penguins high end talent though. But sadly, the NHL goofed and pushed the Rangers through. The results are NOT surprising.
    We as fans just want to see best on best, not this garbage!

    • hrudey - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      And the Canucks should have been in the finals hands down in 2012, but that’s the thing – teams don’t advance because they’re better on paper or more talented, but because they go toe to toe with an opponent for up to seven games and win four of them. The teams that are in the finals deserve to be there because they’re the ones who earned the right to get there, and if you’re a fan of a team that’s not there, you’d better hope like heck that your teams’ not thinking “we should have been there” but instead thinking “what can we do better to be there next year?”

    • geauxshawx - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Using your “logic”, the Kings shouldn’t be here either. Should be Dux or Shawx. But Least-coast lovers can’t see beyond the Mississippi, can you.

    • dannymac17 - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      Never cared for the Penguins, but now that you mention them in that way, I hate them.

  13. papajack1259 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    I am sorry I do not see the Rangers getting a goal let alone win a game
    Zuccarello and Haglan have been impressive but Nash? He was not even on the power play But the real surprise in Henrik, come on the goal at the end of a power play, to end a period with a 1/2 sec. On the clock Killed the Rangers. He needed to make that save and he should of. no puck luck no excuse he needed to make that stop and he did not
    They are done its sweep time I just hope it’s a 4-0 blowout in game 4 so that there is no hope for the poor Ranger Fans. Henrik is over rated there I said it Quick showed up Lundquist did not

  14. bkg63 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Queue TPIR “loser” horn for the Rangers…

  15. quizguy66 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Glad to see Mike Myers had brought the luck of the Maple Leafs over to the Rags.

  16. phillysports1 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Jimmy Fallon. Most overrated “comedian” in the history of history. 👎 Your going be bringing the brooms out very soon haha

  17. officialgame - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    The Rangers looked to be wound tighter then Jimmy Fallon’s tight pants.

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