LA Kings claim first game of Stanley Cup in OT

Last updated 17:34 05/06/2014
LA Kings
Getty Images

TAKE ON ME: Trevor Lewis of the LA Kings takes a shot as NY Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist tries to block it.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

If anyone can, it's Jimmy Spithill - Oracle training partner warns Black Sticks women must improve attack to gain World Cup qualification: coach Mark Hager Peter Burling a star in the Team NZ design room as well as on the water Canterbury Red Devils must win home matches to keep up with competition Italy's Luna Rossa boss arrives in Bermuda to cheer on Team NZ in America's Cup final Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - June 23 Cycling's Grand Tour teams to be reduced Oracle bosses Sir Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison lament 'one-sided' America's Cup match America's Cup great Dennis Conner cheering for a Team New Zealand victory America's Cup: 'Pride of Picton' Joseph Sullivan aims for cup glory

The New York Rangers lost the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals opener but gained confidence in the process as they proved to themselves and their doubters they can compete with the favoured Los Angeles Kings today.

Despite losing their grip on a 2-0 lead and watching the Kings skate to a 3-2 overtime triumph, the Rangers managed to salvage good vibes in moving forward with their first Stanley Cup appearance in 20 years.

"(We understand) that it wasn't our best and we have to look at what we did well and learn from that," said Rangers defenceman Kevin Klein. "We can get better for Game Two."

Blowing an early two-goal advantage and a chance to steal a critical road game could have been heartbreaking for New York, but it was instead enlightening as they did well to temper the Kings' potent attack.

Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist deserves his share of the credit, after finishing with 40 saves.

In the nail-biting third period, with the game tied at 2-2, Los Angeles took a 20-3 advantage in shots over the Rangers who narrowly held on by the thread of Lundqvist's goaltender glove.

"It was intense," said Lundqvist, the Rangers' all-time franchise leader in playoff wins with 42.

"They threw a lot (at me) to create chances from rebounds. There were a couple close calls."

Lundqvist has made a career out of dodging close calls while piling up a glittering list of achievements. He helped Sweden to the 2006 gold medal at the Turin Olympics, and took home the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top netminder in 2012.

RANGERS BACKBONE

He has served as the Rangers backbone for nearly a decade and on too many nights has rescued a struggling team.

However, the 32-year-old Swede could not pull off the feat today. Carl Hagelin netted a shorthanded goal in the first period to put the visitors ahead 2-0 but New York ended the game with a scoring drought of more than 49 minutes.

Despite the lack of offence, the Rangers did flash plenty of speed in creating opportunities that may pay dividends later on in the best-of-seven series.

"That's going to be our key to try to win the series (our speed)," said Hagelin. "We did a great job of getting breakaways, we just didn't score.

"Our mindset going into the series tonight (was that we can play with them). Anything can happen."

The Rangers have certainly proved that this post-season as they have consistently advanced despite being the underdog in each series.

New York prevailed in a pair of Game Sevens in the opening two rounds before beating the Montreal Canadiens in six games to clinch the NHL's Eastern Conference title.

Los Angeles will likely be their toughest challenge yet, but in many aspects the Rangers passed their opening test before Kings winger Justin Williams ended the game with his game-winning shot in overtime.

"It feels good to have the first one (game) underway and start building on something," said an optimistic Lundqvist.

"Obviously, we were looking for the first win, but we'll try to get the next one." 

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content