The New York Rangers’ hope is that playing in front of their home crowd Monday in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden will provide the same advantage to them that the Kings relied upon in grinding through Game 1 overtime and Game 2 double-overtime wins.
“We’re right there … it’s going to be a great night to be a hockey fan,” Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault said Monday morning after his team’s morning skate at Madison Square Garden.
“A couple bounces haven’t gone our way, but things always even themselves out, and with the right effort and the right attitude, we say, ‘If you work hard,’ luck will come. Well, we’re working our [rears] off, and I’m very confident we’ll be real good.”
Vigneault said he’s told his team, “We have to hold serve,” and win Monday and Wednesday in New York, “and try to make this a series.”
The Kings have rallied from 2-0 deficits to win the opening games at Staples Center, getting a Justin Williams’ game winner in Game 1 and helped by a third-period non-call on a Dwight King goal the Rangers argued was goaltender interference.
Vigneault said he placed a phone call to the NHL about the King goal.
“I’ll keep that between me and the league,” Vigneault said.
New York center Brian Boyle said his team has “executed our game plan,” and gotten “some big saves from [Lundqvist] … the energy’s been there” to seize early control in both games, “but we can do better.”
Boyle said he anticipates a “fun” environment Monday night. “But our backs are against the wall, we need a win,” he said.
New York fourth-line forward Derek Dorsett said the mission remains to “get pucks deep, wear ‘em down, use our speed to make our turn and get some [scoring] chances,” and continue the pursuit of fatiguing a Kings team that has played three seven-game playoff series and three consecutive overtime games.
New York defenseman Dan Girardi said his team has narrowed its focus to Monday’s game. “It’s good to get the energy of a home crowd that’s been waiting [for a Stanley Cup Final] for 20 years,” Girardi said.