NHL: Lundqvist Helps Keep Stanley Cup Final Hopes Alive In 2-1 Victory
The King lived up to all the hype concerning his performance during elimination games, and kept his team in the game while being shot at much more than Jonathan Quick. Henrik Lundqvist played a sensational game with 40 saves and managed to keep all but one puck out of the net, earning New York a 2-1 victory.
Preventing a series sweep, the Rangers fought Wednesday night to keep themselves in the Stanley Cup Final. It was the third game of the series that resulted in the Rangers taking the lead, but only the first game that resulted in a New York win.
Game four saw plenty of intense moments, including only centimeters separating the puck from a Kings goal that could have tied up the game. Los Angeles came close to making one of its common comebacks, but with the help of Derek Stepan and soft ice the puck was gloved into Lundqvist for the faceoff with 1:11 remaining in the contest. There were two instances in the game that resulted in the Kings putting the puck on the goal line.
In the third period, the Rangers spent a majority of the time defending, and overall outhit the Kings 32-27. Los Angeles dominated in shots during the third, outshooting the Rangers 15-1, but couldn’t get the puck past Lundqvist even with the extra attacker added after removing Quick.
New York is now 11-2 in the last 13 games while facing elimination.
The Rangers saw goals from Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Luis, while Dustin Brown gave the Kings their one goal. Los Angeles led in shots during the first period, 11 shots to seven.
Pouliot scored 7:25 into the first period while St. Luis’ goal didn’t come until the second. While 6:27 into the second, St. Luis put the puck into an open net with a wrist shot to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
The Kings were able to strike back and cut the Rangers’ lead in half 8:46 into the second. Dustin Brown had the advantage after Daniel Girardi’s stick broke, and scored a breakaway goal with a wrist shot.
New York saw a 2-0 lead in the first two games of the series, which both resulted in an overtime loss, but they were able to hang on to the lead Wednesday night for a chance at the Stanley Cup Final. As for the Kings, they had a two-goal deficit six times in the last eleven games, and came back four out of seven times.
Game five of the series will take place on Friday at Staples Center. Los Angeles leads the series 3-1 with a chance at its second Stanley Cup in three years.