With their 3-0 win over the New York Rangers last night, the Los Angeles Kings have a commanding lead in the Stanley Cup Final and are just one win away from their second Stanley Cup Championship in three years. However, you won’t catch the Kings popping corks just yet. If there is one thing this year’s playoffs have taught us, it is that earning that fourth win has been no easy task. Considering the Kings rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the first round against the San Jose Sharks, they know first hand how difficult it can be to close out a series.
What We Learned In Game 3:
- The Kings Can Lead In Regulation! It took until the final second of the first period, but the Los Angeles Kings got their first regulation lead in this series. Jeff Carter scored with 0.8 seconds left in the first on a wrist shot that deflected off of Ranger defenseman Dan Girardi‘s skate. The Kings added two more goals in the second period for good measure. Despite holding a 2-0 lead in the series, not holding a regulation lead is a stat that the Los Angeles Kings are content to be rid of.
- Here’s Jonny! Jonathan Quick set the bar high for Stanley Cup Playoff goaltender performances back in 2012. So far in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Quick has been unable to equal his play from two years ago. A 32 save, shutout win is more like the Jonathan Quick we saw back in 2012. The Kings offense carried the team through the first three rounds (Quick wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t exactly stealing games for the Kings either). Now it appears Jonathan Quick is settling into form and squeezing out whatever hope the New York Rangers have left.
- The Rangers Just Don’t Get It: If the Kings are able to close out the series on Wednesday night, the turning point will be the non-interference call back in Game 2 that brought the Kings back within one. Since that goal, it has been all downhill for the New York Rangers. In the aftermath of Game 2, the Rangers lamented the “blown call” (despite them giving up two more goals to lose the game in OT). In the aftermath of Game 3, the Rangers spoke of their lack of “puck luck”. Giving up two-goals leads four times in the first two games and then following that up with a three goal shutout is not a lack of “puck luck”. That is called getting outplayed by the other team.