Los Angeles Kings shut out New York Rangers
The Kings took a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals series, after winning game three on Monday in uncharacteristic fashion at Madison Square Garden.
After winning three straight road game sevens to make the deciding series in the NHL, the Kings never led in regulation in the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals at their Staples Center home – but won them both in overtime.
However, it was a different story in New York, as the Kings eased to a relatively straightforward victory to move within one win of a second title in three seasons.
The Rangers outshot the Kings 32-15 but an outstanding performance from LA goaltender Jonathan Quick saw him pull off 32 saves to earn the shutout.
In the dying stages of the first period, Jeff Carter fired Darryl Sutter’s visitors ahead, before second-period goals to Jake Muzzin and Mike Richards built a commanding lead.
With less than seven seconds remaining in the opening period, the puck was in the Kings’ defensive zone yet – in typical LA fashion – they produced a late show to lead at the first change.
Some accurate passing from Slava Voynov and Justin Williams saw the puck in possession of Carter, who duly flicked in the opener as time expired.
It was the Kings’ first lead in regulation since game six of their Western Conference finals series with the Chicago Blackhawks – which they went on to lose – but they would suffer no such fate this time around.
Muzzin doubled their advantage with a wrist shot from the edge of their forward zone in the fifth minute after the re-start, after receiving the puck from Anze Kopitar – while Marian Gaborik was also credited with an assist.
Richards made it 3-0 with under three minutes to play in the period, as he exchanged a one-two with Kyle Clifford before finding the back of the net.
The Rangers must become the first team since the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942 to come from 3-0 down in the finals series to win the Stanley Cup.
Game four is back at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
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