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Features

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

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

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers, NHL.com 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.

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Sather savoring Rangers' run to Stanley Cup Final

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

Dan Rosen - NHL.com 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.

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Rangers' Kreider legend in Massachusetts hometown

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

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com 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.

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Goaltender matchup: Inside Quick vs. Lundqvist

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

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com 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, NHL.com 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.

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2015 World Junior Championship schedule unveiled

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 12:45 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

NHL.com

Canada will be the prime-time feature on the first day of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held in Montreal and Toronto from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2015.

The host country will start the tournament against Slovakia at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 26 at Bell Centre in Montreal.

The United States also will play its first game Dec. 26 at Bell Centre, at 3 p.m. ET against defending champion Finland.

Canada, the United States, Finland, Slovakia and Germany will play in Group A, which will see all its preliminary-round games played at Bell Centre.

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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 - NHL.com 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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Familiar faces dot Rangers-Kings Cup Final

Monday, 06.02.2014 / 5:14 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers won't be looking to rekindle old friendships when they play the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. But many of the Rangers players will notice a familiar face on the Kings roster when they play Game 1 on Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

And for one former Rangers player, the Cup Final will be a vivid reminder of where he came from.

Kings forward Marian Gaborik was a crucial piece of the Rangers team that advanced to the 2012 Eastern Conference Final before losing in six games to the New Jersey Devils. In just two years, Gaborik has gone from being one of the Rangers' best teammates to one of their most dangerous adversaries.

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Five reasons why the Kings advanced

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Kings completed one of the most remarkable runs to the Stanley Cup Final with their Game 7 overtime victory Sunday.

Los Angeles dethroned the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in an epic seven-game Western Conference Final. It was the third consecutive seven-game survival for the Kings, and they became the first team to win three Game 7s on the road in one postseason as well as the first to play 21 games in the first three rounds and still advance to the Cup Final.

What made it even more remarkable was the quality of competition in Los Angeles' path. While the Kings defeated the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seeds in the Western Conference en route to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and did so by racing out to a 3-0 lead in each series, the journey to the 2014 Final was unquestionably harder.

The San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Blackhawks finished the regular season with a combined 334 points. For perspective, the top three seeds in the West in 2012 combined for 317 points.

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Rangers expect stiff challenge from Kings in Cup Final

Monday, 06.02.2014 / 3:59 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- After waiting for three days, the New York Rangers finally learned Sunday who they will play in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The Los Angeles Kings advanced by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final.

Hours away from boarding a flight to Los Angeles for Game 1 Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), the Rangers took some time to assess their next opponent. And they were not taking them lightly.

"[They're] a team that knows how to win, is very resilient. It's going to take a lot to beat them," forward Brad Richards said. "They seem to always find a way to get back in a series and win a series. They just won a Cup a couple of years ago, so they're a major challenge."

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Five Conn Smythe candidates entering Cup Final

Monday, 06.02.2014 / 2:38 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Resiliency and emotion have carried the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers into the Stanley Cup Final. But neither would be getting prepared to play Game 1 on Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) without some phenomenal individual performances.

The Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, won't be officially handed out until a champion is crowned either on or before June 18. Here are the top five candidates after three rounds:

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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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