LOS ANGELES -- New York Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis refused to admit what appeared obvious to others Wednesday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
"I don't feel we gave it away," St. Louis said.
If that's the case, the narrative should be that the Los Angeles Kings came back and took away what, for a short while anyway, was looking like a sure thing for New York.
The Rangers had built a two-goal lead with 4:57 remaining in the first period, but the Kings rallied to tie it before seven minutes elapsed in the second period. Justin Williams scored the winner 4:35 into overtime to lift Los Angeles to 3-2 victory at Staples Center and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.
"I wouldn't say, 'Gave one away,'" said Rangers forward Carl Hagelin, obviously sticking with the narrative. "I think when you're up 2-0 … their first goal gave them momentum. I think it would have been a different game if they didn't get that goal. But again, we can't get too down on ourselves. We showed all year that we're a close-knit group. We always come back strong."
Maybe the Rangers will come back strong, but they'll have two days to digest what could have been, and maybe should have been, Wednesday.
Game 2 isn't until Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).