Stanley Cup Final 2014: Early Predictions for Rangers vs. Kings Game 2

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Stanley Cup Final 2014: Early Predictions for Rangers vs. Kings Game 2
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings is the highlight of an amazing postseason, and the action is just starting to heat up.

After Los Angeles managed to beat New York in overtime (3-2) in the opening game of the championship series, the focus has shifted to Saturday’s Game 2 and whether the Rangers can bounce back to win a game on the road.

Here is all the vital viewing information for the second game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final: 

 

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

When: Saturday, June 7 at 7 p.m. ET

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

 

2014 Stanley Cup Final Schedule and Predictions
Game Date Matchup Network Predicted Winner
Game 1 June 4 Kings defeated Rangers, 3-2 NBC --
Game 2 June 7 NY Rangers at Los Angeles NBC Kings
Game 3 June 9 Los Angeles at NY Rangers NBCSN Rangers
Game 4 June 11 Los Angeles at NY Rangers NBCSN Kings
*Game 5 June 13 NY Rangers at Los Angeles NBC Rangers
*Game 6 June 16 Los Angeles at NY Rangers NBC Kings
*Game 7 June 18 NY Rangers at Los Angeles NBC N/A

Source: NHL.com. *If necessary.

 

Breaking Down Rangers vs. Kings Game 2

The anticipation surrounding the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between New York and Los Angeles was through the roof coming into the championship series, and Game 1 lived up to its lofty expectations.

Despite the Rangers taking an early 2-0 lead in the first period, the Kings refocused and added a goal in the latter part of the opening 20 minutes. During a hard-fought second period from both teams, Los Angeles evened the score on a goal by defenseman Drew Doughty. 

There was no scoring in the third period, despite the fact that the Kings outshot the Rangers 20-3 in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Without a star like Henrik Lundqvist in net standing on his head, New York wouldn’t have even made it to overtime.

John Buccigross of ESPN talked about just how dominant Los Angeles was offensively in Game 1:

After scoring the game-winning goal in overtime, Kings forward Justin Williams spoke to the media, per the Associated Press, via ESPN, about his team’s confidence in tough situations:

It certainly helps that we've done it time and time again. It's a great result of the hockey game for us, definitely, but we have a lot of things to clean up. Certainly not our best game by any standards, especially ours, but we were able to get it done. That's the most important thing.

Now the focus has shifted to Game 2.

It was abundantly clear that Lundqvist, and the New York defensive unit led by Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi (played for a combined 58 minutes and 37 seconds in Game 1), were going to be tough to beat, but the Rangers biggest failure was in the offensive zone.

New York allowed 43 shots, but could only manage 27 shots of its own in almost 65 minutes of action.

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With an offensive unit anchored by stars like Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards and Rick Nash (combined for eight shots and zero points in Game 1), the Rangers must get more production from the offensive cogs who have helped the team make it this far.

While the postseason is all about role players stepping up in key moments—just as Williams did for Los Angeles—New York needs to change its game plan if necessary and force the issue in the offensive zone.

The Rangers may be struggling mightily offensively, but the Kings didn't play up to their expectations either. Despite its struggles, Los Angeles once again found a way to pull out the victory.

Unless New York shows a drastic change in mentality coming into Game 2, the Kings will pull out the win at home.

Predicted Game 2 Winner: Los Angeles, 4-2

 

*Stats via NHL.com.

 

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