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Discover: Road to the Cup – the finals thus far

Jun 13, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

The Los Angeles Kings made history before this series even began by going to Game 7 in each of their first three series and winning every time. They developed a reputation for their resiliency, but the New York Rangers arrived to the Stanley Cup Final under similar circumstances.

They played in just one less game than the Kings over the first three series and overcame a 3-1 series deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins along the way.

When these two teams finally collided though, it was the Kings’ ability to bounce back that trumped the Rangers’. New York established a 2-0 lead in Game 1 and 2, but in both cases Los Angeles rallied back to win in overtime. With that, the Kings had a 2-0 series edge without leading at any point in the series.

“We can’t take any solace [in two close games] because we lost,” Rangers forward Brian Boyle insisted after the team’s second setback.

“We came here to win games. It doesn’t matter how the hell we do it, we have to win the game. If you don’t win the game you didn’t do what you came to do and that’s the worst feeling there is.”

Game 3 was a different beast as the New York Rangers got power-play opportunity after power-play opportunity, but Jonathan Quick was at his best, stopping 32 shots to lead Los Angeles to a 3-0 victory. The Kings stretch without holding the lead in a playoff game ended at 249:14 minutes, per LA Kings Insider.

With the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination, it was their chance to show what they could do in the face of adversity. New York took a 2-0 lead for the third time in this series and actually managed to hold onto it. They had luck on their side, as on two separate occasions the puck stopped moving just before the Rangers’ goal line, but Lundqvist also had a great game, stopping 40 of 41 shots.

The Rangers set an NHL record by winning their eighth straight home game when facing elimination. Lundqvist had a 0.99 GAA and .968 save percentage in those eight contests, according to

Los Angeles still has a commanding 3-1 lead and more than enough talent to finish off this series, but that doesn’t mean the finals are as good as done either. The Kings have suffered from slow starts against the Rangers and while they’ve managed to overcome that most of the time, it burned them in Game 4 and that might happen again if they allow New York to have any life early in Friday’s contest.

Although the Kings still have three chances to win, this game is important to them. If they can’t finish the Rangers off tonight, then the series will return to Madison Square Garden where the Rangers will attempt to extend their record-breaking streak. If New York is successful, then there will be a Game 7 and all bets are off at that point. In other words, even if Game 5 isn’t the Kings last chance to bury the Rangers, it is their best one.

  1. stepanup - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I agree that this could be the Kings best shot. The Rangers may not fully believe they can do it, but heck, if they can steal this one, they’re going home and are back into it. Who knows from there.

    Personally I’m just trying to enjoy that my favorite team in sports is in the finals.

    • 7mantel - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      It ain’t over tilt’s over@Yogi Berra ! LETS GO NYR’S!

      • patthehockeyfan - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        Hey, 7mantel! Good to see you! Are you coming to Baltimore in July to see the Yankees @ Orioles? Which game?

        To add to your Yogi Berra sentiment, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings! GKG!!!

      • 7mantel - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        No pat ,coming down for the 4th to see family . I ‘ll go any game if O’s are home, if the NYY are in town it’s a plus .Find me under the coke bottle in bleachers, close to beer n bbq !!

      • 7mantel - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Say pat did you try those crab cakes yet ?

      • 7mantel - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        No pat coming down for the 4th to see family . I ‘ll go any game if O’s are home, if the NYY are in town it’s a plus .Find me under the coke bottle in bleachers, close to beer n bbq !!

      • patthehockeyfan - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Not yet, mantel. Planning to soon, though. There’s an inconsistency in planning to eat summertime food while still watching a wintertime sport – ice hockey.

      • 7mantel - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        Congrats on your Kings SC Championship !

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      No offense but you guys sound EXACTLY like Devils fans of a couple years ago. And the Rangers fans were pretty cruel on them as I recall.

      • 7mantel - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        I root for all NY teams ! Who gives up on their home team ? Do you ?

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Look up! What’s that??! It’ the point!!

        Wave to it!

  2. homerx - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    As long as they’re still alive there’s a chance. They will definitely need their A+ game tonight as they stole game 4. Ironic that beside game 3, the team that played better for the majority of each game has lost. A bounce of the puck can change everything. Look at the two pucks on the goal line last game; inches away from changing momentum. And the way the Kings were flying at the end of that game the Rags would have got smothered.

    Anything can happen. Odds are against them but live and die with the Blueshirts. I did not expect them to go this far in AV’s first year. A few off season tweaks and key re-signings and they will be here again next year.

  3. rupp246 - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    If we don’t score on the pp tonite, we are toast. If its over tonite, it was a great ride and I really enjoyed watching the games with my daughter who really took an interest when the playoffs began. So for that, I thank the blue shirts.

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