Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) at New York Rangers (45-31-6)
|Date & Time||Monday June 9, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -126 / Los Angeles Kings +114 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Rangers look to play their way back into their series with the Kings after two heartbreaking overtime losses as the scene shifts to New York for the next two.
The Los Angeles Kings have yet to generate a lead through the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final yet they have a commanding 2-0 series lead thanks to their back to back overtime victories including Saturday night’s double overtime win that was finished off by Kings Captain Dustin Brown. The Kings head to the road where they have been moderate at best in these playoffs but their counterparts haven’t been world beaters at MSG by any means so it is certainly more than plausible for the Kings to push the Rangers to the brink of elimination with a win on Monday. The Kings have been stellar throughout these playoffs and a number of players are in the mix for the Conn Smythe including Justin Williams, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, and Marian Gaborik who have all contributed to the team’s special Cup run and will likely continue to be factors for the remainder of this series. The same can’t be said for the Rangers however as the list for the MVP nod is very short with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist the overwhelming favourite to take it with perhaps some possibility of Marty St. Louis snatching it away from his net minder. With that in mind, if the Kings can continue to find ways to solve Lundqvist than New York Cup chances and Conn Smythe hopes will be simultaneously dashed.
The Rangers head back to MSG looking to reverse their fortune at least on the scoreboard as they came away empty from the Staples Center despite holding a lead or in a tie for the entire 120 minutes of regulation play. New York was very unfortunate not to head home with home ice advantage and while it is a tough pill to swallow they are still in decent shape as they have yet to drop a game on home ice which is used as a mainstay benchmark for teams in the postseason. The Rangers have played quite well in the series mucgh to my surprise as I expected that LA’s depth and size would make this a fairly easy task the Blue Shirts have used their team speed to their advantage and have had a quick start in both contests. Madison Square Garden will be an electric environment as this is the team’s first Cup home game since 1994 and you can be sure that every Rangers goal will accompany the crowd serenading the players and while the x’s and o’s are vital you can’t underestimate the value of the home crowd and I think it plays a factor in this game. At the beginning of the series I predicted the Kings to win in five and I like that to stay true to form with New York taking this one and the Kings responding on Wednesday.