Rangers just can't catch a break in series against Kings

Rangers just can't catch a break in series against Kings
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist makes a save on a shot by Kings center Anze Kopitar (not pictured) during the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday. Lundqvist lamented the Rangers' bad luck after the loss. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The New York Rangers continued to dwell on the little breaks the Kings are receiving, but they again mustered no sufficient response except for post-loss explanations.

"At some point, you're going to have to need some puck luck and we don't have any right now," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said after a 3-0 loss Monday at Madison Square Garden that leaves his team trailing the Stanley Cup Final three games to none. "It feels like they have all of it."

Maybe there was some good fortune when a shot by Kings center Jeff Carter glanced off the skate of New York defenseman Dan Girardi and sailed past Lundqvist with 0.8 seconds remaining in the first period.

But there were two more Kings goals after that, and none by the Rangers despite six power plays and a handful of New York's 32 shots on goal coming at close range against Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

"He's a good goalie, played well, got the bounces," said Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello, who had four shots on goal. "It's a frustrating loss. To have that many chances, with those lucky bounces … we're down three-nothing, so we have to win four straight. We just have to believe it."

Quick, on the other hand, was often unbelievable.

He stopped New York forward Benoit Pouliot up close and Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell committed an elbowing penalty on the play. Trailing 2-0, the Rangers responded with a Brad Richards blast that Quick knocked down. Rangers forward Derick Brassard retrieved the rebound and unleashed another cannon shot that was also denied.

Brassard then slid into the boards, slammed the glass behind the net with great frustration and had a pained look that revealed something far worse than a lost opportunity — more like a lost series.


"Best [Quick has played] this series," Richards said. "The power play was all over them, firing shots from everywhere. It felt like we were real close and it was going to happen … and all of a sudden the period was over."

After losing the first two games at Staples Center in overtime and double-overtime, all the Rangers can cling to is the oh-so-close postgame analysis.

After Game 1, the Rangers bemoaned the uncharacteristic turnover by veteran defenseman Girardi that led to a game-winning overtime goal by Kings forward Justin Williams.

Following Game 2, they decried Dwight King's uncalled goaltender interference on a third-period goal.

Monday's postscript was about recalling their comeback from a 3-1 series deficit against Pittsburgh, reminding themselves they're good enough to be in the Stanley Cup Final, and that they can't win four games in one day.

Defenseman Ryan McDonagh said he believes four consecutive Rangers victories are possible.

"You feel like you played a good game, but it doesn't really matter when you lose," Zuccarello said.

Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault was asked what he'll say to his team, now facing the possibility of getting swept.

"I'm going to take the night to figure it out," Vigneault said.