The Texas Stars advanced to the Calder Cup Finals by beating the Toronto Marlies 6-2 on Tuesday night in Game 7 of the American Hockey League's Western Conference Final in Cedar Park, Texas.
Dustin Jeffrey scored twice in a six-goal blitz by the Stars that began late in the second period and wiped out Toronto's 2-0 lead.
"Fly at 11 [a.m.]," Sutter deadpanned.
With a 4-3 loss, Los Angeles was headed back to Chicago for Game 7 after the Blackhawks rallied from a 3-1 series deficit.
It might have been hyperbole, but it also wouldn't be surprising if that's all Sutter really said.
The puck drops on the 2014 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, June 4 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). Before the best-of-7 series begins, members of NHL.com and NHL Network made predictions for the Stanley Cup champion, the number of games the series will take and who will be named Conn Smythe winner as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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.
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 NHL.com 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.
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.
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).
Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference announced Tuesday he will march in the Edmonton Pride parade as a representative of the You Can Play team, along with the University of Alberta's Camp fYrefly youth leadership program.
The parade will take place Saturday.
The partnership for the parade was reached as a result of YCP's recent partnership with the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS), and is an extension of YCP's partnership with the NHL.
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.
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