What can the New York Rangers do differently?
They vowed Wednesday morning their attention is “all in” on the idea of scoring the first goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, trailing the Kings three games to none.
Two problems with that: A) Kings goalie Jonathan Quick shut them out, 3-0, with 32 saves Monday in Game 3, so he’s not a willing participant; B) The Rangers scored the first two goals in Games 1 and 2 and still lost.
“We’ve got to win four in a row, one game at a time,” New York forward Mats Zuccarello said after the Rangers’ morning skate at Madison Square Garden. “Good challenge, we’re playing a tough team, but it’s all about getting this game now. If we do and steal one there [Friday at Staples Center], it’s a series. Today, it’s all in, get some bounces and win.”
A loss, however, means the Kings have won their second Stanley Cup in three seasons and will skate around the Rangers’ rink with sports’ best known trophy.
“I don’t necessarily think anyone’s thinking like that, because if you’re thinking that then you’re conceding the series, I guess,” New York defenseman John Moore said. “They haven’t won anything. The series isn’t over.”
The Kings have certainly seized the series by the jugular, however, answering the speed of Zuccarello and forwards Carl Hagelin and Benoit Pouliot by denying the Rangers’ best scoring chances and creating their own, uniquely.
As the Kings scored on a shot off a Ranger’s skate and used a bounce off a New York player’s
leg to set up another goal, one of Zuccarello’s four shots Monday hit iron. He said he never reviewed the play.
“It wasn’t a goal, so it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to get the puck deep and score a couple goals,” he said. “If we do, it’s a different mind-set. Since we lost the last game, everyone’s kind of negative … that’s not acceptable. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to win four games.”
Hagelin said the route to beating Quick is “for us to keep shooting and [keep] getting to rebounds. You’ve got to make sure you bear down when you get a chance. You’ve got to make sure you really want to score that shot. Net traffic always helps, getting to rebounds, those are things that can help us score goals tonight.”
Rangers forward Martin St. Louis is urging his team to look to a new day rather than obsess on missed opportunities.
“We all want plays back, you can’t,” he said. “Get a big win, grab the momentum, go from there. We’re going to focus on getting a good start, we’ve got to find ways to get it past Quick, and play the hockey we play. I’m confident we will.”
St. Louis said despite the deficit, “we’re in the Stanley Cup Final. That’s what motivates me. You don’t want to lose in four, but we don’t look at it like that. We’re looking to win a game.”
Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein said he heard a rally from 3-0 to win a Cup has happened
before, and was told it was in 1942.
“So there you go,” Klein said.
“There’s nothing to save it for now. I know the guys are going to leave it all out there tonight.”
New York has been outscored by the Kings, 6-0, over the last 85 minutes 10 seconds.
“We’ve had our chances to bury it. When we don’t, you’ve got to keep going at it,” Klein said. “It’s that time of year where you go through a slump and … we’ve got to figure it out.”