The New York Rangers may have won on Wednesday, but the Los Angeles Kings still hold the 3-1 series advantage in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
Los Angeles stole each of the first three games in the championship series, but New York understood what was at stake and came out swinging in Game 4. Now the focus turns to Game 5 on Friday night.
Here is the full schedule and odds for the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
|Game 1||June 4||Kings defeated Rangers, 3-2||--||--|
|Game 2||June 7||Kings defeated Rangers, 5-4||--||--|
|Game 3||June 9||Kings defeated Rangers, 3-0||--||--|
|Game 4||June 11||Rangers defeated Kings, 2-1||--||--|
|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 are the latest championship odds.
|Los Angeles Kings||1-15||-1500|
|New York Rangers||7-1||+700|
Breaking Down Rangers vs. Kings Game 5
The Los Angeles Kings took the dominant 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final by winning Game 1 and 2 in overtime and shutting out the New York Rangers in Game 3.
New York looked to be out on its feet, but the Rangers came out swinging and staved off elimination for at least one more game.
Unfortunately for New York, the series now shifts back to Los Angeles.
After scoring once in the opening period, veteran Martin St. Louis put the Rangers up by two goals before Kings captain Dustin Brown scored a gorgeous unassisted goal. Los Angeles came close to evening the score, but ESPN showed the luck New York had on Wednesday night:
How close were the Kings to forcing overtime last night against the Rangers? This close. pic.twitter.com/BMZMk5qbAq— ESPN (@espn) June 12, 2014
Kings rookie winger Tanner Pearson told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com about his team’s mentality after a tough loss on Wednesday:
I think you've just got to keep your head in it and realize what's at stake. There are so many veteran guys on our team that help you keep your head into it. It wasn't that hard. At the end of the day, that's what you've got to do, right? You can't have your head spinning about what's going on. You just have to go out there and do what got you here in the first place.
As it has been throughout this series, it was Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who saved New York’s season with his amazing play. Despite facing an astounding 41 shots during regulation, the Swedish netminder only allowed one goal.
For the Rangers offensive unit, they only managed to get one shot on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in the entire third period. As A.J. Perez of NJ.com shared on Twitter, Lundqvist once again carried the load:
The Kings outshot the the Rangers 26-3 after Dustin Brown's goal in the 2nd period. Lundqvist's back must be hurting.— A.J. Perez (@ajperezsports) June 12, 2014
With the home-ice advantage in the series and the Stanley Cup Final heading back to LA, the edge in Game 5 goes to the Kings. Even with Lundqvist playing out of his mind, New York has not found any consistency in the offensive zone.
The Los Angeles defense has done a great job of limiting the Rangers’ chances, and the forechecking by everyone on the Kings roster has been stellar. The key will be to continue firing the puck at the net just as they have.
Eventually, Lundqvist will make a mistake or Los Angeles will get a lucky bounce. The Kings are the better team, and they should end the series on Friday.
Game 5 Prediction: Los Angeles Wins, 3-1
*Stats via NHL.com.