The Los Angeles Kings are in the driver's seat against the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, and they'll have a chance to end the series on Wednesday night.
Through three games, the Kings are up 3-0 and are on the brink of a sweep. The first two games went to overtime and double overtime, but Game 3 wasn't nearly as close, with the Kings winning 3-0. The Rangers will be looking to keep the Kings from winning the Stanley Cup at Madison Square Garden, at least holding them off until the series goes back to Los Angeles.
Below is all of the viewing information for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, followed by a few predictions for the potential series-ending game.
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
Date: Wednesday, June 11
Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Rangers Avoid Second Straight Shutout
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick got his second shutout of the postseason in Game 3, but he won't get a third on Wednesday.
The Rangers got plenty of shots off in their last game, even outshooting the Kings 32-15 in the game. They had a number of ideal opportunities to get the puck in the net, but something always seemed to go wrong.
The power play unit has been a big disappointment so far this series. In the first three games, the Rangers have gone just 1-of-14 on power-play opportunities. According to James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail, the Rangers had 24 shots on goal during power plays in Game 3.
“Special teams is the difference in this league and we’ve got to make sure we keep goals out of our net and put them in when we’re on the power play,” Rick Nash told Stephen Lorenzo of the New York Daily News. “In the regular season, the playoffs, the Final, you need to have your special teams clicking. To score a power-play goal is a huge deal.”
Head coach Alain Vigneault understands that the team needs to make the most of their opportunities, and, when asked what the Rangers needed to differently at Madison Square Garden, he responded with just one word according to the Associated Press via ESPN.com.
The Rangers have had plenty of scoring help from guys like Martin St. Louis, Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard this postseason, and one or more of them should be able to find the net in Game 4 to try and keep their team alive.
Kings Complete Series Sweep
The Rangers may be able to get on the board, but it will be the Kings that win Game 4 and become Stanley Cup champions for the second time in three seasons.
For a team that ranked just 26th in the NHL in scoring during the regular season, the Kings have started to light it up when it matters. This postseason, they've led all teams with 3.5 goals per game, while the San Jose Sharks are quite far behind in second place at 3.14 goals per game.
The team's scoring has been efficient and spread out, as the goals have come from just about everywhere. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Kings' first 10 goals came from 10 different players, the first team to ever do that during the Stanley Cup Final.
ESPN Stats & Info also noted that the Kings were the second team to win a Stanley Cup Final game with 15 or fewer shots.
This hot offensive streak doesn't bode well at all for the Rangers, as they're already going against one of the best defenses in the league. During the regular season, the Kings led the NHL with just 2.0 goals allowed per game. Defenseman Drew Doughty has been a Conn Smythe Trophy contender with his solid play defensively, but he's made sure to credit Quick as well, especially after Game 3.
"I think that was his best game of the playoffs," Doughty told Corey Masisak from NHL.com. "He played fantastic for us [Monday night]. He made some big saves, saves he had no business making. His rebound control was good, his puck-handling was good, everything about his game tonight was great and he was a big reason why he won."
Henrik Lundqvist might be the better goaltender, but he doesn't have Doughty in front of him. Combine that with the solid offensive play from players like Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik and you have a team that's ready to complete the first Stanley Cup sweep since 1998.