Post-game notes courtesy of the NYR; interview transcripts from the NHL/ASAP Sports:
Game 1: Kings 3, Rangers 2 (OT).
- The Rangers were defeated by the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, in overtime tonight in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at STAPLES Center. The Rangers trail the best-of-seven series, one game to none.
- The Blueshirts have posted a 12-9 record in the playoffs this year, including a 6-5 record on the road.
- Three of the Rangers’ last five contests have been decided in overtime. The last time the Blueshirts played three games that went to overtime in a five-game stretch during one playoff year was from Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on May 12, 1995 vs. Quebec to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 22, 1995 at Philadelphia.
- New York was 4-for-4 (8:00) on the penalty kill, and tallied a shorthanded goal in the contest (Carl Hagelin). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Rangers tallied a shorthanded goal on the road in the Stanley Cup Final was Game 1 of the 1979 Stanley Cup Final on May 13, 1979 at Montreal (Dave Maloney). Prior to Hagelin’s tally in tonight’s game, the last time the Blueshirts registered a shorthanded goal in a Stanley Cup Final game was Game 2 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final on June 2, 1994 vs. Vancouver (Glenn Anderson). The Rangers are 46-for-49 (93.9%) on the penalty kill over the last 15 games, and 38-for-40 (95%) over the last 12 games.
- Seventeen Rangers made their Stanley Cup Final debut in the contest.
- The Blueshirts were credited with 33 hits in the contest, as five different skaters recorded at least four hits.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves in the contest, including 20 saves in the third period. The Rangers goaltender has posted a 12-8 record in the playoffs, including a 6-4 record on the road. Lundqvist stopped 40 shots in a playoff game for the fifth time in his career, and the second time this postseason (he made 40 saves in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 19 at Montreal). In the five career playoff contests in which Lundqvist has made at least 40 saves, he has registered a 2-3 record, along with a 1.77 GAA and a .948 SV%. The Rangers’ all-time wins leader is tied for first in the NHL in SV% (.928) and ranks second in the NHL in GAA (2.07) in the playoffs.
- Carl Hagelin registered a shorthanded goal, posted a plus-one rating, and tied for the game-high with five shots on goal in 15:18 of ice time. Hagelin has tallied two shorthanded goals in the last four games, and leads the NHL in shorthanded goals (two) in the playoffs. Hagelin is also tied for first in the NHL in shorthanded points (two) in the playoffs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers forward is the first Blueshirt to register two shorthanded goals in one playoff year since Mark Messier recorded two during the 1992 playoffs. Hagelin has tallied four points (three goals, one assist) in the last five games, and leads the team in goals (seven) in the playoffs. The Rangers forward is also tied for fourth on the team in points (11) and plus/minus rating (plus-four) in the playoffs.
- Benoit Pouliot tallied the first goal of the game and recorded two shots on goal in 15:56 of ice time. The Rangers forward has established playoff career-highs in goals (four) and points (nine) this year. Pouliot is tied for sixth on the team in goals and ranks second on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-six) in the playoffs.
- Brian Boyle recorded a shorthanded assist and was credited with three hits in 12:14 of ice time. The Rangers forward has tallied three assists in the last four games, including an assist in each of the last two games. Boyle has established playoff career-highs in assists (five) and points (seven) this year. The Rangers forward ranks second on the team, and ninth in the NHL, in hits (56) in the playoffs. Boyle is also tied for first in the NHL in shorthanded assists (two) and shorthanded points (two) in the playoffs.
- Ryan McDonagh tallied a shorthanded assist, posted a plus-one rating, was credited with four hits, and tied for the game-high with three blocked shots in a game-high, 31:12 of ice time. The Rangers defenseman has recorded a playoff career-high, four-game assist/point streak (five assists over the span), and has registered at least one point in six of his last seven contests (two goals, nine assists over the stretch). McDonagh is the first Rangers defenseman to have a four-game assist streak in the playoffs since Sergei Zubov posted a four-game assist streak from Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on May 14, 1995 at Quebec to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 22, 1995 at Philadelphia. McDonagh ranks third among NHL defensemen in assists (11) and is tied for third among NHL defensemen in points (14) in the playoffs this year. He is also the first Rangers defensemen to record at least 11 assists and 14 points in one playoff year since Brian Leetch reached each mark in the 1994 playoffs. McDonagh’s 11 assists are tied for the seventh-highest total a Ranger has posted in one playoff year in franchise history. The Rangers’ 2013-14 MVP leads the team in assists, points, and average ice time (25:29) in the playoffs. McDonagh is tied for first in the NHL in shorthanded assists (two) and shorthanded points (two) in the playoffs.
- Dan Girardi was credited with a game-high, seven hits in 27:25 of ice time. Girardi skated in his 85th career playoff game, tying Don Maloney for second on the team’s all-time playoff games played list. The Rangers defenseman leads the team and ranks fifth in the NHL in hits (70) in the playoffs.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Vigneault.
Q. Did you feel early on you were able to set the pace? Where do you feel it got away from you?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I don’t think we set the pace. I liked the way we played in the first two periods. I thought it was a hard?fought, you know, first 40 minutes by both teams.
Not quite sure what happened there in the third. Not sure if it was them being that good or us stopping moving the puck and skate and going north/south.
They definitely took it to us in the third and they were able to get a bounce on the winning goal and put it in the back of the net.
Q. On the winning goal, should Pouliot be staying in the zone?
COACH VIGNEAULT: He thinks that’s an automatic play. The puck bounced over Dan’s stick. Not sure what he could do there. It was an unlucky bounce on our part, a fortunate bounce on their part.
Couldn’t put the handle on it. I mean it was a bang?bang play. We were going north/south. We thought the puck was moving.
Q. Did you think the number of chances that you didn’t put away probably came back to haunt you in the end?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, could say the same thing for them. I think after 40 minutes both teams chance?wise maybe we were a little bit better in the first there. But it was a pretty close game. Could have been 2?1, 2?2 for either team.
In the third, they just were the better team on the ice.
Q. What is the adjustment you need to make going into Game2?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Let me look at the tape here. We got 48 hours to make some adjustments before we play Saturday.
I’ll look at the game film and we’ll go from there.
Q. Is John Moore a definite for Game2?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Again, I haven’t talked about lineup decisions here as we move throughout the playoffs and I’m not going to start tonight.
Q. Talk a little bit about Hagelin. Speed seemed to be a big weapon for you today.
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, his speed shorthanded was definitely a positive factor for us. We just need to be able to generate the same thing five?on?five.
Q. You knew how heavy a team they were, they are. Now that you’ve seen it firsthand in these playoffs, what is your take on the physicality they bring?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, they’re a good team. I mean, they come at you hard. When you make a play, you got to be willing to take the hit to make the play. That’s something we knew coming into the series.
I thought for 40 minutes we handled it real well. Not quite sure what happened in the third there.
Q. Do you feel like you let the Kings off the hook a bit?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I feel when you play against such a good opponent that has all that strength you need to play a full game. For whatever reason tonight we just weren’t good enough in the third.
Q. What did you think about Lundqvist tonight?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I mean, he was the reason why we went to overtime. I mean, he gave us a chance. When you get to overtime, a lot of times it’s a bounce, it’s a shot. Tonight they got it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Photo by Getty Images.