The Stanley Cup Final meeting between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings is exactly what the league wanted, and the focus for many hockey fans has shifted to Game 2 on Saturday night.
New York will once again be forced to play in front of the raucous Staples Center crowd, and after taking Game 1 in thrilling overtime fashion, Los Angeles will be looking to add to the series lead.
Here is the full schedule, updated odds and full preview of Rangers vs. Kings Game 2.
|2014 Stanley Cup Final Schedule|
|Game 1||June 4||Kings defeated Rangers, 3-2||--||--|
|Game 2||June 7||NY Rangers at Los Angeles||NBC||NBC Live Extra|
|Game 3||June 9||Los Angeles at NY Rangers||NBCSN||NBC Live Extra|
|Game 4||June 11||Los Angeles at NY Rangers||NBCSN||NBC Live Extra|
|*Game 5||June 13||NY Rangers at Los Angeles||NBC||NBC Live Extra|
|*Game 6||June 16||Los Angeles at NY Rangers||NBC||NBC Live Extra|
|*Game 7||June 18||NY Rangers at Los Angeles||NBC||NBC Live Extra|
|Source: NHL.com. *If necessary.|
*Live stream via NBC Live Extra.
Now that you've seen the schedule, here is the Game 2 betting information:
|Rangers vs. Kings Game 2 Betting Odds|
|New York Rangers||69/50||+138||5 over|
|Los Angeles Kings||25/38||-152||5 under|
Breaking Down Rangers vs. Kings Game 2
Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings was an exciting way to start the series—Los Angeles won 3-2 in overtime—and all eyes have shifted to Game 2 on Saturday.
The crowd at the Staples Center will be electric like they were in Game 1.
New York must bounce back on Saturday and even the series, but that is easier said than done. The Rangers were outplayed in almost every facet of the game and would have been blown out if it weren’t for the outstanding play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
ESPN’s John Buccigross talked about the dominant play of Los Angeles in Game 1 on Twitter:
Despite the stellar performance from the Kings in the opening game of the series, ESPN’s SportsCenter Twitter shared a factoid that should help calm the nerves of New York fans:
Los Angeles racked up an impressive 43 shots in Game 1, and the Kings will be looking to carry that offensive momentum into the second game of the series.
After being asked about the impact that center Anze Kopitar has on the team, Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown spoke glowingly to Scott Burnside of ESPN.com about what his teammate means to the Kings’ success:
You try and describe guys [as] 'shut-down D' or 'goal scorer' or 'grinder.' I've said this before about Kopy, he's just a hockey player. If the best play's a pass, it's a pass, if the best play's a shot, it's a shot. He's just a complete hockey player. He doesn't get enough credit in my opinion partly probably because of the market we're in, his background. If he was a Canadian and played in New York, [there would] probably be more people talking about him.
As well as Lundqvist played in net during Game 1 and throughout the entire postseason, Los Angeles has hit its stride at the right time. After winning in Game 7 in each of the first three series during the playoffs, the Kings know where their biggest strength is and will focus on keeping that offensive pressure on the Rangers' defensive unit.
New York defenders Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have been playing even more than usual to limit the offensive chances of Los Angeles, but the Rangers will need all six of their defenders to help protect Lundqvist on Saturday.
Led by Brown and Kopitar—as well as a cadre of players like Justin Williams who have stepped up in key moments—Los Angeles will once again steal a victory on its home ice and force the series to New York with a 2-0 lead.
If the Kings win Game 2, there is little doubt that the team will win the series.
Game 2 Prediction: Los Angeles wins, 4-3
*Stats via NHL.com.