Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/13/14 at 01:02 PM ET
KINGS LOOK TO CLINCH STANLEY CUP ON HOME ICE
The Kings will try to clinch their second championship in franchise history when they return home to face the Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at STAPLES Center. Los Angeles outshot New York 41-19 in Game 4, but failed to score at least three goals for the first time since May 18 (Game 1 of the Western Conference Final), snapping a nine-game streak. The Rangers, meanwhile, improved to 8-0 in their last eight home games when facing elimination, establishing an NHL record.
* The first four games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final have produced similar results to the last time the Kings were in the Final in 2012: a pair of overtime victories to open the series, a shutout win in Game 3 and a narrow loss in Game 4:
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
Game 4: New Jersey 3, Los Angeles 1^
Game 5: New Jersey 2, Los Angeles 1
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
Game 4: NY Rangers 2, Los Angeles 1
Game 5: TBD
^ NJ scored empty-net goal at 19:40 of the third period
* The Kings have won 16 of their last 21 home playoff games – including five of their past six – dating to June 11, 2012, when they clinched the Stanley Cup vs. NJ.
* The Kings will contest their 26th game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, matching a single-year NHL record. The previous teams to play 26 games in one postseason: the 1987 Flyers and 2004 Flames, who both dropped seven-game series in the Stanley Cup Final.
* The Kings also will play their 63rd postseason game dating to 2012, tying the NHL record for most such games over a three-year span (DAL: 1998-00, DET: 2007-09).
* The Rangers are 11-2 in their last 13 postseason games when facing elimination (dating to Game 6 of 2012 CQF at OTT), including a 5-0 mark in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Henrik Lundqvist has started all 13 of those games, posting a 1.30 goals-against average, .959 save percentage and two shutouts.
* Lundqvist is 5-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage when the Rangers have faced elimination this postseason (168 SV on 173 SA). He has allowed one goal in each of those contests: Game 7 of First Round vs. PHI; Games 5, 6 and 7 of Second Round vs. PIT; and Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final vs. LA.
* In Game 4, Lundqvist became the third goaltender in NHL history to make 40 or more saves AND record a victory with his team facing elimination in the Stanley Cup Final (since the League started tracking shots in the late 1950s). The others: Stars goaltender Ed Belfour in Game 5 at NJ in 2000 (1-0 win in 3OT, 48 saves) and Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 at DET in 2008 (4-3 win in 3OT, 55 saves). Lundqvist, however, became the first goaltender in NHL history to earn such a win in regulation-time.
* With the win, Lundqvist also became the second Swedish-born goaltender to earn a victory in the Stanley Cup Final. The first: Pelle Lindbergh, who led the Flyers to a win in Game 1 of the 1985 F vs. EDM.
* Game 5 of the Final marks the 93rd game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, surpassing the previous single-year record of 92 established in 1991.
* 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).
* The Rangers are just the seventh team to avoid a four-game sweep when facing a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final. A breakdown:
Teams Facing 3-0 Series Deficit, Stanley Cup Final History
Lost in 4 Games: 20
Lost in 5 Games: 3
Lost in 6 Games: 1 (NJ in 2012 vs. LA)
Lost in 7 Games: 1 (DET in 1945 vs. TOR)
Won in 7 Games: 1 (TOR in 1942 vs. DET)
* Both clubs have posted strong records this season when leading after 40 minutes – the Kings are 9-1 when leading after two periods in the playoffs and have won 36 of 40 total games in that situation including the regular season; the Rangers are 11-1 when leading after two periods this postseason and have won 39 of 43 total games in that scenario including the regular season.
* The Kings lead the League a +15 goal differential in the third period and overtime this postseason (33-18). Their 29 third-period goals also pace all teams, nine more than the next-closest club (CHI: 20).
* The Rangers lead the NHL with a +14 goal differential in the first period this postseason (26-12). They have outscored the Kings 5-2 in the opening 20 minutes of the Stanley Cup Final.
* The Rangers have scored first in 16 of their 24 playoff games and are 11-5 in those contests. The Kings have scored first in 11 of their 25 playoff games and are 9-2 in those contests.
* Kings captain Dustin Brown has 4-4—8 in his past eight games, including a pair of goals in the Stanley Cup Final.
* Kings forward Justin Williams leads all players with 1-5—6 in the Stanley Cup Final. He also has 3-10—13 in his last 10 outings dating to Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.
* Kings forward Jeff Carter, who is tied with Williams for second in postseason scoring (10-14—24), has 7-8—15 in his last 12 contests dating to Game 7 of the Second Round.
* Kings forward Anze Kopitar leads all players with 21 assists and 26 points in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kopitar, who was held off the scoresheet in Game 4, has failed to register a point in consecutive games just once since Dec. 21 (April 3-5) – he has 23-44—67 in 71 total games since that date (regular season and playoffs).
* Derick Brassard and Ryan McDonagh share the scoring lead among Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final, both with 1-2—3. Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis each have two goals.
* McDonagh has recorded at least one point in seven of the last 10 games, compiling 3-10—13 in that span.
* Rangers forward Derek Stepan has registered at least one point in eight of his last 11 games, totaling 3-8—11 in that span.
* St. Louis paces the Rangers with eight goals and is tied for second on the team with 15 points in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (24 GP). He had 1-7—8 in 19 regular-season games with the club following his acquisition at the Trade Deadline.
DID YOU KNOW?
* The Stanley Cup has been clinched on the road in five of the past six seasons. The only home team to win the Stanley Cup in that span: the 2012 Kings.
* Teams with a chance to win the Stanley Cup on home ice are 41-20 (.672) since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939, but just 7-8 (.467) since 2000.
RECORD-SETTING VIEWERSHIP CONTINUES ON NBC SPORTS
* With 3.383 million average viewers for Game 4 of the Final (the last game on NBCSN this season), the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs now rank as the most-watched on cable in 17 years.
* For the 77 games telecast on NBCSN and CNBC, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 1.098 million viewers (and a 0.66 household rating), ranking as the most-watched NHL postseason on cable since 1997 (1.211 million viewers on ESPN/ESPN2).
* This year’s average viewership also is up 10% from the 2013 cable average of 1.000 million viewers (0.60 household rating).
* The 2014 Stanley Cup Final has averaged 4.652 million viewers (and a 2.8 household rating) on NBC/NBCSN, ranking as the second-most watched Final through four games in the last 12 years (since 2002, 4.726 million). The only Final with better numbers over that span was last year’s series between the Blackhawks and Bruins (5.341 million).
* Game 4 of the Final delivered a 2.8 overnight rating, ranking as the third-best Stanley Cup Final overnight ever on NBCSN (trailing only Games 2 and 3 of CHI-BOS in 2013).
* Game 4 also averaged 3.383 million viewers and delivered a 2.0 household rating, making NBCSN the No. 1 cable network in primetime (8:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET) among average viewers and adults 18-49 (1.3 rating).
* Viewing for the game peaked at more than 4.6 million viewers from 10:45 – 11:00 p.m. ET.
* Locally, Los Angeles delivered a 7.3 rating, the market’s best-ever on NBCSN for an NHL game, surpassing Game 4 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final (LA-NJ: 6.6).
* New York scored its second-best NHL rating ever on NBCSN with an 8.1, trailing only Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final (NYR-MTL: 8.5).
Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh celebrates his 25th birthday today . . . The Katz Group hired former Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson as vice chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), a new sports and entertainment company that will manage the Katz Group’s family of sports and entertainment assets as well as operate Rogers Place, the new home of the Oilers . . . The Predators promoted Ben Vanderklok to goaltending coach . . . The Oilers re-signed forward Steve Pinizzotto to a one-year contract . . . ICYMI: Check out the top plays from Game 1-4 of the Stanley Cup Final . . . “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon discussed winning his bet with the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
NY Rangers @ Los Angeles, Game 5, LA leads 3-1, 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, NBC, CBC, RDS
thanks to the NHL PR department for the above information
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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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