New York's state of mind revolved around its hockey team Wednesday night.
Thousands gathered in New York City's Bryant Park for a viewing party to watch the New York Rangers play the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center, roughly 3,000 miles to the west.
The Rangers were back on the ice after having nearly a week off; they eliminated the Montreal Canadiens last Thursday in a 1-0 victory in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden. Los Angeles went the distance in each of its series, becoming the first team in history to win three Game 7s in the same postseason. The Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime Sunday night.
Celebrities and NHL players took to Twitter before and during the game to share their excitement in what is primed to be a pulsating best-of-7 series.
After all the Game 7 dramas in the @NHL playoffs, a Game 1 is almost relaxing.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) June 5, 2014
The Rangers are so fast, I think they are playing with the super speed cheat enabled.— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) June 5, 2014
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty struggled in his own end in the first period, when New York grabbed a 2-0 lead. But he redeemed himself with a highlight-reel goal 6:36 into the second to make it a 2-2 game.
Loved seeing doughty make that mistake in 1st...BECAUSE..great players like that always redeem themselves... And then some. What a goal!— Thomas Hickey (@thomas_hickey14) June 5, 2014
Doughty is unreal. End of story. Love him. #nasty— Colby Armstrong (@armdog) June 5, 2014
Prior to the game, Hall of Fame center Wayne Gretzky dropped the ceremonial puck. Gretzky played for the Kings from 1988-96 and retired in 1999 after three seasons with the Rangers.
Folks are asking who I'm rooting for. I've got no horse in this race: I just love @NHL hockey. And we ALL win when it's for the Stanley Cup.— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) June 5, 2014