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History, as you might imagine, is not on New York’s side right now

Jun 10, 2014, 12:29 AM EDT

Vigneault Getty Images

NEW YORK — After losing 3-0 on Monday night in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Rangers now face a monumental task in rallying from a three games to none series deficit.

And monumental might be understating it.

Only one team in Stanley Cup Final history has come back to win after dropping the first three games — the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who did it against Detroit in the first-ever final to go seven games.

Three teams have since rallied from 0-3 in playoff history (1975 Islanders, 2010 Flyers, 2014 Kings) but nobody’s turned the trick in the Final since the Leafs did it 72 years ago.

And hey, we’re just about the full comeback here. It could be argued the Rangers will have a remarkably tough time getting past Game 4… depending on how much stock you put in history.

According to, 26 Stanley Cup Finals began with one team getting out to a 3-0 series lead. In 20 of those, the team leading completed the sweep — most recently, the Detroit Red Wings did it against the Washington Capitals in 1998. That, of course, marked the end of a bizarre chapter in NHL history in which four consecutive Finals were sweeps:

1995: New Jersey 4, Detroit 0
1996: Colorado 4, Florida 0
1997: Detroit 4, Philadelphia 0
1998: Detroit 4, Washington 0

To their credit, the Rangers are saying the right things in how they plan to avoid a sweep — all it takes is one win, just approach it 60 minutes at a time. Cliches, sure, but what else are they going to say?

“We just have to keep working ourselves and work hard and the bounces will come our way,” Dan Girardi said after Game 3. “It all just comes down to we have to win one game and we’ll go from there.”

If nothing else, the Rangers could look at their bitter rivals from New Jersey for inspiration. Two years ago, the Devils also fell behind 0-3 in the Cup Final to the Kings in similar fashion — dropping the first two games in OT before getting shut out in Game 3 — but managed to rally and force a Game 6.

Getting at least that far is what the Rangers want to accomplish.

“It’s not over,” Henrik Lundqvist explained. “We are looking at getting the next game, that’s all we think about right now is that win. In a game like this every little play matters and it feels like they had the luck so far in these three games where it feels like the game has been pretty even, but they have been finding ways to get the big goals at the right times.

“I guess and it’s something we just have to accept and try to be a little better next game.”

As for the Kings, they seem to remember the New Jersey series all too well, explaining how difficult the fourth game of a Stanley Cup Final while saying they’re ready for the Rangers’ biggest effort on Wednesday.

“We have a lot of confidence right now, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves,” Drew Doughty said. “We’ve got a lot of work left to do. It’s not even close to being over.

“This is going to be the toughest part of the series, closing it out.”

  1. censoredpost - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    It’s already in the refrigerator. The door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter is getting hard and the Jello’s jiggling. GKG!

    • nightfireop - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      it’s a 7 game series. don’t be a sharks fan…don’t be stupid. we’re playing a tremendously good team. this series is closer than you think.

      • 950003cups - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        Closer to being finished.
        You see, most teams who are up 3-0 lay back in games like this. Many times they find themselves in a pinch because of that. The. There are times where they think the other team will lay down and die after a 0-3 hole.

        Here’s the problem the rangers have. This team knows how fast a team can come out of a 0-3 hole. They just did it to SJ. Another problem is that this was the same team who layer back when they were up 3-0 and found themselves in a 6 game series.

        Rangers will be swept if they think LA will lighten up.

    • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:19 AM

      And the cup will be in the building

    • kaptaanamerica - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    • titansbro - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      it’s over. the kings were extremely lucky in games 1-2 but they dominated game 3. over, over, over

      • Professor Fate - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Today I learned that fighting back from no less than four two-goal deficits means you are “lucky.”

  2. billiam55 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    well I’m just happy we made it so far for the first time in 20 years. and its not like were loosing to a bad team. Those kings are one of the best in the league. congrats to the kings fans! although series isnt over, i dont see my rangers getting a win in LA if they win next game.

    • nightfireop - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      i’m being really honest here, not only is it the best series i’ve seen as a hockey fan; personally i’m honored to see my kings in a finals match against lundqvist and st louis. no matter the outcome, this has been a really honorable series.

      • bigblueapple - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:12 AM

        No one wants to read your wannabe classy comments. 3 goals on 15 shots? The king is dead. The series is done, the clock has struck 12 for this Cinderella team.

      • nightfireop - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:42 AM

        To each their own, but im not faking anything. its a 7 game series, anything can happen in the playoffs.

  3. nightfireop - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    a team like the rangers with lundqvist has every potential to roar back; i’m not counting the rangers out in any way shape or form. but wed they will have to be in survival mode; should be great hockey across the board.

  4. bills4 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    Wow, I heard tickets at MSG were going for $2500.00 each. What a waste!!

  5. 19to77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    The Rangers were down 3-1 against the Penguins and clutched that series back. They can make a series of this yet. That said… they have to pull off a reverse sweep. Four straight wins against the best comeback team in the NHL. Even if Richards figures out how to string together three shifts without a turnover and Nash starts scoring like it’s, I don’t know, his job or something; even if Lundqvist plays out of his mind, the writing’s on the wall.

  6. blomfeld - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:56 AM



    • titansbro - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      I guarantee “chicks” are not in your future.

      • blomfeld - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        that’s a shame … but hey, I’ve still got ‘victory & good times’ to look forward to eh ? :)

  7. bigblueapple - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    Thank you Kings! I’m so glad I don’t have to watch this blockhead AV make his coy jokes during press conferences anymore. Rather him answering questions like he did tonight (as if he just crapped his pants).

  8. bleedrangerblue - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:41 AM


  9. papajack1259 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    It could of been at least 4goals had the creeper on the line gone in. Henri is the only thing that can stop the inevitable and he ain’t got it. I have said it before the first goal was a pitiful attempt to stop an easy period ending shot, he didn’t and it was right after a ineffective Ranger Power Play. One of four they had with not so much as 5 shots,on a night they had only 15! Time for Hank to get some modeling gigs for the summer

    • erbaker67 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      Except for the fact that the puck changed direction on its way in. That shot was going stick side and ended up high glove side. Its hard to blame the goalie for a loss when your team scores 0 goals. Im not saying Henrik does not have any blame but the first one was a deflection off his defenseman, the 2nd was off St Louis, and the 3rd was just luck. The Kings deserve the series but to make it seem like the series is Lundqvist’s fault is insane. Look at the game winner in game 2, and all the goals in game 3. Deflections, traffic in front, there isnt much a goalie can do. The Rangers need to take a page out of LA’s book and get garbage goals. Their PP is looking for the perfect play, just like the Penguins do.

      Its been fun to watch even though my team is out.

    • theskinsman - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      Too bad you missed the first goal- it was a deflection.

  10. jaybyrd99 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:27 AM

    Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other team . The Rangers had their shot in the 2 games at LA, but last might was Quick( like this series) and the Kings . I’d love just one win from the Rangers, but at this point I’m out if good luck charms and just think Los Angeles is the superior team and will close it out Wednesday night. The Rangers run was / is great fun and they have nothing to be ashamed of.

    • peymax1693 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      The Rangers run was great fun, but it’s ending in the worst way imaginable, at least from my perspective. I would have preferred 3-4 blowouts whereby the Kings skated circles around the Rangers. That way, I can say to myself that the Kings were without a doubt the better team and the Rangers never had a chance. Instead, we Ranger fans have had to watch the teams basically skate to a draw yet still find our team down 3-0 in the series. That’s hard to accept.

      • paulerhythm - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        I understand your frustration. The reason it has been close is due to the Rangers talents and skill. The reason they’re on the short side of the outcome is due to their inexperience. The hockey gods have a way to make you go through the pains of coming oh so close and lose in heartbreaking fashion so that you learn from it and become better prepair. The next time, you learn to hold a 2 goal lead; you learn to deal with adversity; you bury your chances. The Rangers are going to be great for some time and will get another opportunity in the years to come.

  11. papajack1259 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    Jay I agree they made it further than all the others. It’s a great sport and fun to root for our team

  12. doknyc - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    here’s my take (from a depressed rangers fan)..

    quick… lordgod.. hats off…. i swear i saw him make three saves with the paddle… what can you say?

    richards… can you at least hit the net once during a PP? get nash in there…

    girardi… must be hurt, looks slower than molasses…

    i will always live and breathe for my blueshirts, but i couldnt even finish my beer after the first goal…. lets go out tomorrow, and at least not let them dance on our sheet of ice… but LA, wow, helluva team you got this year…

    fat lady aint singing, but she needs to get out of my backyard :)

    good luck to us in game 4… i think we need it….

  13. peymax1693 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    As a Ranger fan, I didn’t think I could feel worse after watching them lose 2 games in OT, but watching last night’s game was pure torture.

    Zuccarello bounces a slam-dunk off the post from 6 inches away, and then Hank gives up a soft goal to Carter to end the First period. And it only got worse from there, as the Rangers buzzed around Quick (who was brilliant) while Hank was only pedestrian.

    I would actually have preferred this series to be a blow out because then I could look back in hindsight and say that the Kings were without a doubt clearly the better team. But watching the Rangers go toe-to-toe with the Kings, yet still find themselves down 0-3 is crushing. Assuming another close game ends in a Kings sweep, it will be without a doubt the closest “sweep” in playoff history.

    But, as the old cliche goes, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. If/when the Kings win, they will have deserved it more than the Rangers, as they will have proven to be the better team at the most crucial times throughout the series. That having been said, I bet the Rangers will be kicking themselves for the missed opportunity that was there.

    • doknyc - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:41 AM


      i think, in our case this series, its “handshoes and horse grenades”… because we cant do anything right or get a single break… kings look awesome, unfortunately for us…

      • peymax1693 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:51 AM

        lol- I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Kings. They play the game the right way (I know that’s a cliche, but I still think it fits) and will have proven that they deserve to win the Cup. But still, knowing how evenly matched the teams ended up being, the “what if . . .” thoughts are going to haunt this Ranger team for a long time.

    • doknyc - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:10 AM


      i know its killing me, we’ve waited 20 years for this… to be so close in game 1, so close in game 2… but i agree, nothing wrong about losing to the kings…

      rangers fans…. we knocked out the flyers, the penguins, and the habs… great run methinks… next year, lets hope we can get back here again, and win it….

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