2014 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFSNEW YORK RANGERS
at LOS ANGELES KINGS
Stanley Cup Finals
Game 5 - Los Angeles leads series 3-1
Puck Drops: Friday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Los Angeles -170, New York +150, Total: 5
The Rangers were able to keep the series going with a win in Game 4, but now have to win on the road, as the Kings look to close the series out at home on Friday night.
For the third time in this series in Wednesday's Game 4, New York was able to take a 2-0 lead. This time though, the club was able to hang on, as Los Angeles had a final attempt in the final minute of the third period came up an inch short of the net. The Kings did score in the second period to make it a one-goal game, but in the end, Henrik Lundqvist was absolutely dominating with 40 saves on 41 shots. In Game 3, the Kings were outshot 32-15, but did a much better job of attacking the net on Wednesday when they outshot the Rangers 41-19. A big reason why L.A. dominated in shot attempts was its dominance in winning 41-of-65 faceoffs. With Game 4 being at home, it was expected that New York would come out fired up and determined not to have its season end on home ice. However, now the Rangers have to head west, where they will have to figure out how to get a win.
New York showed in the first two games that it can compete on the road, but was unable to get the win. In those contests, the club did a great job of getting off to big leads, but could not hold them. While the Rangers were able to get the victory in Game 4, they can ill-afford to get outshot like they did on Wednesday night to extend the series. Lundqvist is the biggest reason why New York was able to get the victory, playing one of the best games of his career. Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis were able to get goals for the Rangers in the game, but will need to do a much better job of attacking the Kings defense in this game. New York did show to be the more physical team in Game 4 (32 to 27 in hits), and will need to continue to play with that physicality in Game 5. For the Rangers to have a chance to win the game, they will have to do exactly what they did in the first two games, and that is to build an early lead.
The Kings in Game 4 looked like a team that was not 100 percent ready to go from the start. As a team that has come back from a 3-0 series deficit, it was expected that L.A. would come out with the focus of ending the series. However, there were a lot of positives for the Kings to take out of this game, and the biggest one is the fact that they were able to get so many shots on goal against Lundqvist. In hockey, a goalie can get hot at any given time, making it nearly impossible to beat his team. The third period is when L.A. really cranked up the pressure, outshooting the Rangers 15-1. After an incredible Game 3 performance, Jonathan Quick was still pretty good on Wednesday (17 saves on 19 shots), but allowed the Rangers to build a two-goal lead for the third time in four contests. Quick will have to return to his Game 3 performance level, as the Rangers will look to once again get off to a good lead. Dustin Brown scored the lone goal for the L.A. on Wednesday, while Tanner Pearson was extremely aggressive with eight shots on goal. If the Kings offense is attacking like they did in Game 4, they will be in great shape to get the victory and capture their second Stanley Cup in three years.