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Kings vs Rangers

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Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Kings swarm, suffocate without the puck

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 11:11 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings have allowed the fewest goals in the NHL since the start of the 2011-12 season because of a roster filled with defensively-sound players that successfully execute coach Darryl Sutter's system.

And they do it by trying not to play defense.

The Kings prevent goals by not letting teams have the puck in the offensive zone. Other defense-oriented teams try to do the same, but typically take a more passive approach.

Los Angeles doesn't just want opposing teams to give up the puck. The Kings want to take it off them.

Excerpt of Chapter 11 of 'The Wait is Over: The New York Rangers and the 1994 Stanley Cup'

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 11:02 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - Managing Editor

The New York Rangers are in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, four wins against the Los Angeles Kings short of claiming its first championship since 1994, a moment which remains one of the proudest in the history of the Original Six franchise.

While waiting to see what the future holds for the Rangers, here is a look back at the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, a seven-game victory against the Vancouver Canucks, as detailed in "The Wait is Over: The New York Rangers and the 1994 Stanley Cup," by Managing Editor John Kreiser. This excerpt, from Chapter 11: Scaling Mount Vancouver, deals with the first two games of the final series.

To say the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden on the night of May 31, 1994, was festive was putting it mildly. For the first time since April 2, 1940, the Stanley Cup Final was opening in New York. Not coincidentally, that was the last time the Rangers had come home with the most famous trophy in sports.

Though the Vancouver Canucks had had a couple of extra days of rest entering Game 1, it was the Rangers who carried the play as the Garden rocked.

Rangers have no captain but plenty of leaders

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 10:45 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- It was one of the strangest days the New York Rangers' players can recall. It was also a day that put them at a crossroads, facing life without their captain in their battle to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Bizarre day," is how center Brad Richards described March 5, NHL Trade Deadline Day.

The Rangers were home to play the Toronto Maple Leafs that night. They went through their morning skate at Madison Square Garden. Ryan Callahan, at this point still the Rangers' captain and only the subject of trade rumors, was on the ice with them.

He went through the skate as usual, but once he left he was nowhere to be found. Then, with some players still milling around in the dressing room, the news broke that Callahan had been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning and that Martin St. Louis was the return prize.

After two trades, Gaborik makes impact with Kings

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 10:01 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The stories written when Marian Gaborik was traded from the New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets suggested it wasn't necessarily a surprise move. Gaborik was coming off a 41-goal season but was fighting inconsistency, so much so that Rangers coach John Tortorella sometimes demoted or benched him.

Gaborik saw it differently, though, when asked Tuesday about the first of two times he was moved at the NHL Trade Deadline.

"The first one was just kind of out nowhere, coming from New York to Columbus," Gaborik said.

Gaborik was traded, along with prospects, to Columbus in April 2013 for right wing Derek Dorsett, center Derick Brassard, defenseman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Tortorella told reporters he thought Gaborik would get back on track with the Blue Jackets. After another trade-deadline deal brought him to the Los Angeles Kings in March, Gaborik has become a major reason the Kings are facing the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final, which starts Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

History points to Kings having edge vs. Rangers

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 8:25 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - Columnist

The Los Angeles Kings defied history when they won the Stanley Cup two years ago. This time they'll have history on their side.

The Kings finished the 2013-14 regular season with 100 points, four more than the New York Rangers, meaning the Stanley Cup Final will begin in Los Angeles rather than the Big Apple on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), with Game 2 at Staples Center three days later.

This is the 75th time the Stanley Cup Final has been a best-of-7 series. In the 72 previous series when one team entered with more points than the other (in the other two the finalists had equal point totals), the one with more points won 56 times. The Kings, who entered the 2012 Final with seven fewer points than the New Jersey Devils (102-95), are the most recent of the 16 teams with fewer points to win the Cup.

It's the first time in the Kings' three trips to the Final that they've had more points than their opponent. The 1993 Kings had 88 points, 14 fewer than the Montreal Canadiens, who won the series in five games.

Ramsay: Listen, Rangers, don't change a thing

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 7:35 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers, has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Craig Ramsay to break down the action. Ramsay will be checking in throughout the series.

Ramsay played in more than 1,000 NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres before going on to coach the Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers. In the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he led the Flyers to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Final. Ramsay most recently was an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

Craig Ramsay's one piece of advice to the New York Rangers on the eve of the Stanley Cup Final is as simple as it can be effective: Don't change anything.

Ramsay knows everyone is calling the Rangers the underdog to the Los Angeles Kings with Game 1 on Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). He understands why: The Kings won the Stanley Cup two years ago and are coming off a seven-game win against the defending Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.

Sather savoring Rangers' run to Stanley Cup Final

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 7:15 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Being in Southern California to watch your team play in the Stanley Cup Final can be like a dream vacation for a general manager.

Just ask New York Rangers president and GM Glen Sather, who on Tuesday explained what he does now that his team has reached the championship round and will face the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"It's really complicated," Sather said. "Today it took us about three hours to figure out which golf course we were going to play on this afternoon, then later on this evening we have the question about dinner, what are you going to watch on TV tonight? Is 'Game of Thrones' on? It's tough."

Sather was joking, sort of.

Rangers' Kreider legend in Massachusetts hometown

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 5:05 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Located 25 miles north of Boston, the idyllic town of Boxford, Massachusetts is known primarily for two things. The first is how Boston Bruins great Ray Bourque raised his family there during his playing days. The other is the annual Apple Festival in October.

With no stoplights and next to no commercial development, one thing the town of 8,000 is not known for is producing future NHL stars.

Until now.

Boxford is the hometown of New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider. And if the Rangers can defeat the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final, Kreider's legend will only expand throughout the hockey haven that is Northern Massachusetts. Either way, he's become the town's most famous local product, leapfrogging Doug VB Goudie, a commentator for the local Fox TV affiliate.

Goaltender matchup: Inside Quick vs. Lundqvist

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 3:17 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

A team doesn't reach the Stanley Cup Final without good goaltending. With the competition intense and so even, the men protecting each goal often are the difference in a series, and that has been the case again through the first three rounds of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now it is is a battle between 2012 Cup winner Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers for the right to raise the Stanley Cup later this month.

Who has the upper hand? Much like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, Correspondent Kevin Woodley, managing editor of InGoal Magazine, used the 360 Save Review System software from Double Blue Sports Analytics to chart each goal scored against each goalie this season, and he came to some interesting conclusions about their strengths and weaknesses of the two.

Kings GM says defense-first plan key to success

Monday, 06.02.2014 / 9:26 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

Dean Lombardi is known for analyzing, almost to a fault, every aspect of the Los Angeles Kings, including those minute details that make the difference between an early summer and a long spring. So it wasn't difficult to imagine the inner scrutiny he went through when he watched Game 7 of the Western Conference Final.

Lombardi, in his eighth season as Kings general manager, saw Los Angeles erase deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime to cap arguably the best Stanley Cup Playoff series in recent memory.

"Every step they take [there are] so many challenges," Lombardi said. "Certainly that series was a different challenge than they've met in the playoffs. It doesn't mean other ones weren't incredibly difficult. This one probably took on a different flavor because you're taking on the Stanley Cup champion. You're really happy for those players because you know how much they put into it and how much they care."

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