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Kings Host Rangers For Game 1 Of Stanley Cup Final

Posted by on 6/2/2014 10:21:29 PM

The New York Rangers could be one of the most unlikely Stanley Cup finalists since the New Jersey Devils unexpectedly pushed their way into the championship round at the end of the 2011-2012 season. When the Devils made their way into the finals, they faced an upstart Los Angeles Kings team that was the first number eight seed in NHL history to get to the finals. By the time the series was over, the Kings were the first number eight seed in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup. Now those circumstances are eerily repeating themselves for the Kings and Los Angeles fans wonder if the outcome this time around will be the same as 2011-2012.

New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings – Wednesday June 4, 2014 – Stanley Cup Finals, Game One

This is a coast-to-coast series that should be the NHL’s dream come true, but the Rangers are just not getting the kind of attention they deserve, even in their own city. A Los Angeles versus New York championship has always been a marquee matchup, and this one should prove to be epic as well. But with the Rangers being such steep underdogs, it will be interesting to see how New York reacts when the puck finally drops on game one.

New York Rangers

It is no secret that goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is a huge reason why the New York Rangers are playing for the Stanley Cup. But not even Lundqvist’s brilliance would have been enough if the Rangers had not started scoring goals by the truckload in the Eastern Conference finals. This is a dangerous New York team because it can do something that the Rangers have not been able to do in the playoffs for years – score goals in clutch situations. But the Rangers will face a Los Angeles team that is very different than the high-flying Montreal Canadiens, and that change of pace may cause the Rangers to take time to adjust.

Los Angeles Kings

Another odd coincidence about this series is that both the Rangers and Kings beat high-scoring teams in their respective conference finals. The one thing the Rangers and Kings proved is that gritty play is what wins championships and not scoring. The Kings are a mix of grit, scoring, and great goaltending. But the Rangers can lay claim to having those three qualities as well. What allows the Kings to stand apart from the Rangers is that the Los Angeles defense can score goals, which is something the New York blue liners have struggled with.

The Bottom Line

Fans should expect a low-scoring and defensive struggle in this first game, but it may not turn out that way. Both of these teams are ready for this series and the time off between the conference finals and the Stanley Cup finals allows the Kings to rest from their previous three series that all went seven games. The Kings are on a roll, and it may take the Rangers a game or two to get into the swing of things against this strong Los Angeles team.

Pick: Los Angeles Kings

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