Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/11/14 at 10:48 AM ET
RANGERS, KINGS MEET IN GAME 4 AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
The Rangers will look to stave off elimination while the Kings will try to capture their second championship in the past three years when they meet in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden.
* The Rangers are 10-2 in their last 12 postseason games when facing elimination (dating to Game 6 of 2012 CQF at OTT), including a 4-0 mark in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Henrik Lundqvist has started all 12 of those games, posting a 1.32 goals-against average, .957 save percentage and two shutouts.
* The Rangers also have won seven consecutive home games when facing elimination (dating to Game 4 of 2008 CSF vs. PIT). Lundqvist has started all seven of those contests, compiling a 0.98 goals-against average, .967 save percentage and two shutouts.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers’ seven-game home winning streak when facing elimination is tied for an NHL record. The only other teams to win seven straight home games in that scenario: the Red Wings (twice, from 1934-40 and 1949-55) and Canadiens (1941-50).
* The Rangers have won 15 of their last 24 home playoff games (dating to Game 7 of 2012 CQF vs. OTT) as well as at least one home game in 14 consecutive series (dating to 2007 CQF vs. ATL). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the second-longest active streak in the NHL; only the Bruins, at 15, currently have played more consecutive playoff series with at least one home victory.
* The last time the Kings raced to a 3-0 series lead was in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, which they ultimately won in six games. The first three games of this series have followed a similar script to that of the 2012 Final – a pair of overtime victories, followed by a shutout:
2012 Stanley Cup Final
Game 1: Los Angeles 2, New Jersey 1 (OT)
Game 2: Los Angeles 2, New Jersey 1 (OT)
Game 3: Los Angeles 4, New Jersey 0
2014 Stanley Cup Final
Game 1: Los Angeles 3, NY Rangers 2 (OT)
Game 2: Los Angeles 5, NY Rangers 4 (2OT)
Game 3: Los Angeles 3, NY Rangers 0
* The Kings lead the NHL with eight road victories this postseason (8-5). In 2012, they tied a Stanley Cup Playoffs record with 10 road wins (10-1), including two in the Final at NJ.
* The Kings have scored three or more goals in nine consecutive games. They lead the NHL with 84 goals this postseason, an average of 3.50 per game, after ranking 26th during the regular season (2.42 goals per game).
* Teams leading the Stanley Cup Final 3-0 have won the series 25-of-26 times (96.2%) since the NHL implemented the best-of-seven format in 1939. The only club to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup was the 1942 Maple Leafs (vs. DET).
* Eleven different players have accounted for the Kings’ 11 goals through the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final. Six different players have recorded the Rangers’ six goals.
* The Rangers have scored first in 15 of their 23 playoff games and are 10-5 in those contests. The Kings have scored first in 11 of their 24 playoff games and are 9-2 in those contests.
* Both clubs have posted strong records this postseason when leading after 40 minutes – the Rangers are 10-1 and the Kings are 9-1 when ahead after two periods.
* The Rangers have a +13 goal differential in the first period this postseason (25-12). Their 25 first-period goals are tied for the most in the NHL with the Kings (25-25).
* The Kings have a +15 goal differential in the third period and overtime this postseason (33-18). Their 29 third-period goals lead all teams, nine more than the next-closest club (CHI: 20).
* Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh has recorded at least one point in seven of his last nine outings (3-10—13).
* Kings forward Justin Williams has 2-7—9 during a five-game assist/point streak. He also leads all players with 1-5—6 in the Stanley Cup Final, paces the NHL with a +14 rating and is tied (with Jeff Carter) for second in postseason scoring with 8-16—24, all career highs.
DID YOU KNOW?
Game 4 of the Final marks the 92nd game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tying a single-year NHL postseason record established in 1991.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“At the end of the day for us right now it’s about one game. That’s as simple and logical and realistic as I can put it for you. We have to focus on one game and that’s what we’re going to do.” – Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault
“When you play games where everything is on the line, you’re always looking to get a good start, you’re always looking to build confidence. A goal always gives you confidence. So, you know, going out [tonight], we have to leave everything out there. Getting a good start will be part of it, obviously.” – Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
“It’s still an unbelievable situation to be in a Stanley Cup Final. We have to remember that. There’s a lot of players that would love to be here. It’s not over.” – Rangers forward Brad Richards
“Most players, coaches, trainers never get any chance, zero [to win the Stanley Cup]. So when you get the opportunity . . . it’s always a testament to the group you have and to understand how tough it is.” – Kings head coach Darryl Sutter
“We live for the playoffs. We live for these type of moments. Yeah, this team, we’re a great team, but we’re not finished with what we have to do yet. We need to continue this [type of playing] as long as we possibly can.” – Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
“We realize it’s never over till you win four games. It’s an old cliché, but the fourth game is always the toughest one to get. We know we’re going to get their best effort [tonight] and we’ll have to be ready.” – Kings forward Jeff Carter
New York delivered an 8.0 rating for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, its second-best NHL rating ever on NBCSN (trailing only Game 6 of the CF vs. MTL: 8.5) . . . Los Angeles scored a 6.4 rating for Game 3, also it’s second-best NHL rating ever on NBCSN (trailing only Game 4 of the 2012 F at NJ: 6.6) . . . The Blackhawks signed forward Dennis Rasmussen from the Swedish Hockey League . . . The Oilers hired Craig Ramsay as an assistant coach and transitioned Kelly Buchberger into player personnel . . . The Coyotes promoted Tim Bernhardt to director of amateur scouting . . . ICYMI: The Kings will host a watch party for Game 4 at Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE . . . Intern Todd attended Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final for “The Late Show with David Letterman” . . . Some of Hollywood’s biggest hockey fans shared their superstitions and good luck charms . . . Lenox Hill Hospital is giving out Rangers onesies to 100 babies born during the Stanley Cup Final.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
Los Angeles @ NY Rangers, Game 4, LA leads 3-0, 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, NBCSN, CBC, RDS
The above information was provided by the NHL PR department.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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