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Rangers hoping to 'hold serve' as series shifts to MSG

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 2:08 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer / 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

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2014 Stanley Cup Final blog
Rangers hoping to 'hold serve' as series shifts to MSG

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers left wing Brian Boyle believes his team has the ability to mount a comeback of their own beginning Monday against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Kings hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series despite the fact they haven't led in regulation time in either of the opening two games at Staples Center in Los Angeles; the winning goal was scored in overtime each game.

"They are a resilient team and so are we; that's why we're both here," Boyle said. "There's no easy road to get to where we are. It's kind of a see what we can do to improve upon because, obviously, mistakes are magnified at this stage."

The cardiac Kings haven't led in their past 229:15 of action, a span of four games. In Game 2 on Saturday, they fell behind 2-0 for the fifth time in the past nine games, yet scored a 5-4 win in double overtime to improve to 4-1 in such instances.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have also proven to be a resilient group in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Rangers lost, 5-2, but rebounded with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 at MSG. They then rallied from a 3-1 series deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, capped with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 in Pittsburgh.

"You have to take it one period, one game at a time," Rangers center Derick Brassard said. "Those games in Los Angeles were pretty intense. We just have to focus on what we can do, and if we do that we'll have a good chance."

The Rangers, who have outscored the Kings 4-1 in the first period of the series, are 6-4 at MSG in the playoffs. A little home cooking might just be what they need to turn the series around.

"It's an exciting feeling to step out on the ice [at MSG] with the home crowd," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "It's always a great atmosphere and we'll have to push ourselves to play our best game."

Boyle knows how excited the fans will be as the game marks the first Stanley Cup game at the Garden since Game 7 of the 1994 Final against the Vancouver Canucks.

"We're jacked up and we know what [this game] means to this city," Boyle said. "It's been a long time and it's a great opportunity. We'll try and win Game 3. We know we're up against it right now being down 2-0, but the only thing we're focused on is Game 3. Our confidence is there."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault agrees.

"We have to hold serve and we know that," Vigneault said. "We know the way to play and when we do that, we're a good team. But even though we're playing hard and playing the right way, they are a great hockey team. It's been nine periods of good hockey and they're up 2-0, so you have to give them full credit.

"But we're working our butts off here and we're confident we'll have that same type of effort [in Game 3] and we're going to be real good. We'll try and make this a series."

Here are the projected lineups:

KINGS

Dustin BrownAnze KopitarMarian Gaborik

Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Dwight KingJarret StollJustin Williams

Kyle CliffordMike RichardsTrevor Lewis

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov

Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Robyn Regehr, Colin Fraser, Jeff Schultz, Jordan Nolan

RANGERS

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis

Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

David Leneveu

Scratched: Justin Falk, Raphael Diaz, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast

Injured: Cam Talbot (undisclosed)

Suspended: Daniel Carcillo

Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis