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New York Rangers Confident Despite Trailing 2-0 to LA Kings

Jun 9 2014, 12:23am CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

New York Rangers Confident Despite Trailing 2-0 to LA Kings
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The New York Rangers remain confident despite trailing 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings in their 2014 Stanley Cup Final series.

The New York Rangers remain confident despite trailing 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings in their 2014 Stanley Cup Final series. 

The Rangers hope to swing momentum in their favor as the series shifts to Madison Square Garden in New York City, per Matt Calamia of BlueshirtsUnited.com: 

"The Stanley Cup Final heads some 2,800 miles Monday night, from Los Angeles and the Staples Center to New York and Madison Square Garden, with the Rangers looking to get back in the series after dropping the first two games against the (Los Angeles) Kings.

"Despite the hole, the Rangers are confident as they return home. They've been one goal away in both contests, losing both games in overtime while not trailing for a second through more than two hours and 35 minutes.

"'I think we played two good games over there,' forward Mats Zuccarello said Sunday after the team arrived in New York. 'We didn't get the bounces in the OT. We got to limit our mistakes. I think we're a confident group. I think we played the best hockey.'

"The Rangers have had three different two-goal leads in the series, including two Saturday night in Game 2, a 5-4 double-overtime loss. While that's a positive, the Rangers blew those leads all three times.

"'I think if we keep playing the same way, we have a great chance to win,' said Derrick Brassard, who scored the Rangers' fourth and final marker in Game 2 in the second period.

"'It's a far way to be over. We came back from 1-3 against (the) Pittsburgh (Penguins). We proved to ourselves that we can come back against some really good teams. I think we showed ourselves that we can play with those guys.

"While no game is a true must-win, head coach Alain Vigneault said his team is certainly close.

"Tomorrow is about as close to a 'must' game as I think you can have,' Vigneault said. 'Until you face elimination, that's as close as we can get.'

"There are a lot of good things we're doing on the ice,' Vigneault added. 'There are a couple things we need to clean up that we're going to address tomorrow with our group. For the most part, we've given ourselves a real good chance, and that's what we're going to try to do tomorrow.'"  

ESPN's Scott Burnside wrote on June 8 it's not impossible to overcome a two-game deficit this early in the series. 

"Just as the 2-0 lead within playoff games has become a curse this spring, the 2-0 lead has also been something of a burden. 

"Three of the four opening-round matchups in the Western Conference featured blown 2-0 series leads by the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks. The Sharks even matched the historically improbable feat of blowing a 3-0 series lead against the Stanley Cup-favorite Los Angeles Kings, who hold a 2-0 lead against the New York Rangers. 

"The other first-round series  in the West also featured an early 2-0 lead by the Anaheim Ducks over the Dallas Stars that evaporated as the Stars bounced back to extend the series to six games before they blew a big lead in Game 6 and were eliminated. 

"In the second round, the Minnesota Wild, who won their series against the Avalanche in the first round after dropping the first two games, came back to force the Chicago Blackhawks into a six-game set after dropping the first two games on the road. The Kings opened with two straight wins against the Ducks and then lost three in a row before taking a second straight Game 7. 

"The finals series since the 2004-05 lockout have featured dramatic swings in fortunes as well, with series taking on the look of a rout but ultimately seesawing their way to six- or seven-game sets. 

"All of this is to say that as much as the Rangers look like a team that has squandered its way to an early exit from the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals, having blown a two-goal lead in Game 1 and and three two-goal leads in Game 2 before dropping both in overtime, maybe all is not lost.

"Maybe." 

Despite their confidence, the Rangers are upset about a third-period goal on June 7 in Game 2 when the Kings' Dwight King scored a goal when he got tangled up with New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, per The New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein:

"Whether a play included goaltender interference, perhaps the most disputed penalty in hockey, is not reviewable by replay officials, despite frequent pleas to make it so. The Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist became the latest to issue that request, after Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday night. 

"'They scored a goal, and I couldn't even move,' Lundqvist said of Dwight King's goal early in the third period, which started the Los Angeles Kings' rally from a 4-2 deficit to a 5-4 victory in double overtime. 'You have to stop the play if the goalie can't move in his crease.'

"Lundqvist and the Rangers will have to put their anger behind them as they try to cut into the Kings' 2-0 lead, with Game 3 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. Still, in the aftermath of Game 2, they could not hide their exasperation.

"On the play, Lundqvist tried to stop a shot from the Kings' Matt Greene, but his movement was impeded by King, who was tangling with Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in the crease. The puck struck King and went into the net."  

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