You could certainly argue this hasn’t been the postseason that Jonathan Quick would be most proud of. He’s at a mere .910 save percentage after a 32-save shutout in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. That said… he’s one win away from his second Stanley Cup, and he’s outright stolen a game for perhaps the first time this playoffs.
You could make a really solid argument for this being New York’s best game of the series. The aforementioned shot differential, along with a territorial advantage and the team getting six power plays against a usually stingy Kings team. There were no breaks to be had, and they all went in the other direction for the mighty Henrik Lundqvist, who had little to no chance on any of the three that sailed past him.
Yes, the Kings did kill off the Rangers six power plays, but they still were unable to amount for much in terms of shots on goal (hell, the Rangers blocked only 11, meaning aside from shots that missed the net, they attempted 26 shots). New York controlled the play for most of this, and Los Angeles blocked what they could, and saw the goaltender from Connecticut block everything else.”
“He was obviously the best player on the ice tonight,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, a man who had the attitude a coach down three games to none in the Stanley Cup Final should have. The fact is, the Rangers were in this game for at least the first two periods, and at times territorially dominant. Another game like this is likely to go their way.
That said, without bad luck, they’d have none. A Jeff Carter goal, a stunner, with less than a second to go in the first period to suck the air out of a fiery Madison Square Garden. 11 turnovers to the Kings seven. Rick Nash being denied an easy wraparound by perhaps the best penalty ever taken by Drew Doughty.
Are the Rangers done for? Probably, statistics say. But hey, as Darryl Sutter reminded the press after the game, “we got thrown under the bus by everybody on earth seven weeks ago, so…” and he’s right. The improbable, even the impossible has happened in this playoffs, so why not again?
“You got to finish in this game,” Vigneault said. “It’s a performance-oriented business. Power play had some looks, but it didn’t finish.” That’s true, but it’s also true that the Rangers aren’t dead in this unless they come out completely dead in Game 4. That said, Stanley will be in the building, and who wants to bet on this Kings team getting outshot 2-to-1 again?