Game 4: Rangers 2, Kings 1 … post-game notes & quotes

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Post-game notes courtesy of the NYR; post-game transcripts from the NHL/ASAP Sports:

Game 4: Rangers 2, Kings 1.

Click here for boxscore.

Team notes:

–        The Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1, tonight in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers trail the best-of-seven series, three games to one.

–        The Blueshirts have posted a 13-11 record in the playoffs this year, including a 7-5 record at home.

–        New York’s victory was its first in the Stanley Cup Final since Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final on June 14, 1994 vs. Vancouver.

–        The Rangers have won 11 of their last 13 games when facing elimination, dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 23, 2012 at Ottawa. The Blueshirts have also won eight straight contests when facing elimination at Madison Square Garden, dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 1, 2008 vs. Pittsburgh. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers’ eight-game winning streak at home when facing elimination is an NHL record. The record was previously held by the Detroit Red Wings (1934-1940 and 1949-1955), and the Montreal Canadiens (1941-1950).

–        The Rangers have won 16 of their last 25 playoff home games, dating back to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 26, 2012 vs. Ottawa. The Blueshirts have now won at least one home game in 15 straight playoff series, dating back to the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2007 vs. Atlanta.

–        New York recorded the only goal of the first period. The Rangers have outscored the Kings, 5-2, in the first period during the series, and have outscored their opponents, 17-6, in the first period over the last 13 games. The Blueshirts have outscored their opponents, 26-12, in the first period in the playoffs this year. New York’s 26 goals are the most a team has scored in the first period during the playoffs, and its plus-14 goal differential is the best any team has in one period.

–        The Rangers have tallied the first goal of the contest in 10 of their last 13 games, and in 16 of 24 playoff contests this year. The Blueshirts are 11-5 when registering the first goal of the game in the playoffs.

–        Ten different Blueshirts have recorded at least 10 points in the playoffs this year (Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, Brad Richards, Carl Hagelin, Derick Brassard, Rick Nash, and Benoit Pouliot). It is the first time in team history that 10 Rangers have each registered at least 10 points in one playoff year.

–        New York was credited with 32 hits in the contest, as 15 different skaters were credited with at least one, and 11 recorded at least two.

–        The Rangers were 2-for-2 (4:00) on the penalty kill in the contest. New York is 54-for-59 (91.5%) on the penalty kill over its last 18 games and 46-50 (92%) on the penalty kill over its last 15 games.

Player notes:

–        Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves in the contest to record his 43rd career playoff victory. The Rangers goaltender has posted a 13-10 record in the playoffs, including a 7-5 mark at home. Lundqvist has posted an 8-0 record, along with a 0.99 GAA, a .968 SV%, and two shutouts in his last eight games when facing elimination at Madison Square Garden. He has allowed one goal or fewer in seven of those eight contests. The Rangers goaltender has also posted an 11-2 record, along with a 1.30 GAA, a .959 SV%, and two shutouts in his last 13 games when facing elimination. When the Blueshirts have faced elimination in the playoffs this year, Lundqvist is 5-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .971 SV% (168 saves on 173 shots). The Rangers goaltender has allowed one goal in each of the five contests in which the Rangers have faced elimination this year. Lundqvist recorded 40 saves for the sixth time in his career – his third time in the playoffs this year – and for the second time when the contest has not ended in overtime. The Rangers goaltender has posted a 3-3 record, along with a 1.67 GAA and a .952 SV% in playoff games when he has made at least 40 saves. Lundqvist made his 90th consecutive start in the playoffs in the contest, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 26, 2006 vs. New Jersey. He is the third goaltender in NHL history to start 90 consecutive playoffs games with one team (Martin Brodeur – New Jersey, Patrick Roy – Colorado). Lundqvist ranks second in the NHL in wins (13), GAA (2.15) and SV% (.926) in the playoffs.

–        Martin St. Louis registered the game-winning goal and recorded three shots on goal in 16:48 of ice time. St. Louis has recorded nine points (six goals, three assists) in the last 12 games. The Rangers forward leads the team in goals (eight) and game-winning goals (three), and ranks second on the team in points (15) in the playoffs. The game-winning goal was the 11th of St. Louis’ career, and he is tied for fifth among active players in game-winning goals in postseason play. St. Louis is also tied for fourth in the NHL in goals and is tied for third in the NHL in game-winning goals in the playoffs this year.

–        Benoit Pouliot tallied the first goal of the contest, posted a plus-one rating, recorded two shots on goal, and was credited with two hits in 15:28 of ice time. Pouliot is tied for the series lead with two goals in the Stanley Cup Final. The Rangers forward has established playoff career-highs in goals (five) and points (10) this year. Pouliot leads the team – and is tied for fourth in the NHL – in plus/minus rating (plus-nine), and is tied for fourth on the team in goals in the playoffs.

–        Derick Brassard registered an assist, posted a plus-one rating, recorded two shots on goal, and was credited with two hits in 15:34 of ice time. The Rangers forward is tied for the team lead in assists (two), and points (three) in the Stanley Cup Final. Brassard is tied for fifth on the team in points (12) and is tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-five) in the playoffs.

–        Chris Kreider recorded an assist, and was credited with two hits in 13:38 of ice time. The Rangers forward has tallied 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the last 13 games. Kreider is tied for third on the team in assists (eight) and is tied for fifth on the team in points (12) in the playoffs.

–        Derek Stepan notched an assist, recorded three shots on goal, and was credited with two hits in 17:15 of ice time. Stepan has recorded 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his last 11 contests. The Rangers forward has tallied 10 assists in the playoffs this year. It is the 15th time in franchise history that a Blueshirt has recorded at least 10 assists in one playoff year. Stepan ranks second on the team in assists and is tied for second on the team in points (15) in the playoffs.

–        John Moore recorded an assist, and was credited with one blocked shot in 10:31 of ice time. The Rangers defenseman has established playoff career-highs in assists (two) and points (two) this year.

Quotebook:

Alain Vigneault
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Vigneault.

Q. How would you describe your team’s performance tonight and how proud are you of the way they played?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, it was a real tough game I think for L.A. It was probably their best game of the playoffs that they’ve played against us.
I thought we were real good until they scored their first goal, their only goal, when Dan broke his stick. I thought after that we weren’t maybe as efficient as we had been until that time.
But our guys competed. I mean, they’re a real good team. They threw everything they had at us. Our goaltender stood tall, gave us a chance.
We have another chance. We get to play.

Q. Henrik, you couldn’t say he was necessarily bad these last few games, but did you feel like he took it upon himself to really seize control of this one when he needed to?
COACH VIGNEAULT: He had to make some huge saves in the second and the third. He got and we got a few bounces. You need those. Maybe the luck is changing a little bit.
We got to keep competing hard, keep working. We get another chance to play. We’re going to be ready for it.

Q. You jumped out to a two?goal lead earlier in this series. What did you do differently in this game to preserve that lead?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Goaltender was real good (smiling).

Q. Were you aware the puck was sitting on the goal line as long as it was? What did you think when you saw that replay?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I knew it wasn’t in because the light wasn’t going on. I didn’t know exactly where it was. I was able to see the replay after.
Thank God for soft ice now and then.

Q. You shuffled up your lines a little bit. What was your thought process? Were you happy with the line combinations tonight?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Just thought that Dom had been playing some good hockey. I just felt for tonight it was time to maybe give our team a different look on certain occasions.
I thought for the most part we were all right, but I know that we can be better. I expect us to be better next game.

Q. How do you feel Richards reacted to that? Did he fill right into what you needed?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Yeah, I mean, this morning I met all the lines individually, talked about certain assignments that I wanted. I talked to Brad’s line. I talked to Brad about the decision I made.
I mean, at this time of the year it’s only about one thing: it’s about the team. You guys now how Richards has been this year, the ultimate pro. He’s fine with whatever I do.

Q. You spoke earlier about??
COACH VIGNEAULT: ?? Netflix (laughter)?

Q. You spoke about the luck changing maybe. That being said, how difficult is it when Girardi’s stick breaks?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I mean, that’s where I thought we were playing a real solid game until then. That put us on our heels a little bit.
I think this group will learn from that. I definitely know we’re going to be better next game.

Q. With the benefit of replay, you said you were able to see the puck sitting there on crease. In real?time, going a hundred miles an hour, how about the presence of mind of Stepan not to cover it up but swipe it? Is that something you’ve talked on?
COACH VIGNEAULT: That’s player instincts, player knowing the rules. Step’s a real smart player.

Q. In the third period when the ice is almost tilted, you don’t get a shot until two?thirds of the way through the period, what are you thinking on the bench when the game is all one?sided?
COACH VIGNEAULT: You’re trying to tell your players not to play on their heels, keep managing the puck, let’s make plays.
But, you know, at some point you got to give credit to the opposition. Like I said, I mean, that’s the best that they’ve played in this series. They came at us real hard.
Fortunately we were able to stand tall, bend not break. When we did bend a little bit more, our goaltender made some big saves.

Q. Do you know right away when Henrik is on his game that it’s going to be this type of performance from him?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Anytime I put Henrik in goal, I know I got a chance to win. You know, he’s a great goaltender. He really proved that again tonight.

Q. Has Anton Stralman been somewhat of a hero?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Anton plays top minutes. He’s been real steady managing the puck. He’s defended really well. He’s really an important player for us.

Q. You talk about luck. How superstitious are you?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I’ve been in the game a long time to know that sometimes the hockey gods are there. They were there tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ANTON STRALMAN

Q. What does this win mean in terms of the way you think this series can go now?
ANTON STRALMAN: It means a lot. I think this is a game we can build some confidence on.
It wasn’t our best game, but at the same time we got the win and that’s what we needed.

Q. Talk about the challenge of keeping this thing alive in Los Angeles, what it’s going to take.
ANTON STRALMAN: It’s another hard game. Have to keep working hard, manage the puck a lot better than we did tonight. Just put a lot of pressure.

Q. Can you talk about the play where you helped keep the play out of the net.
ANTON STRALMAN: It was a quick play on the power play there. I just saw the puck and all I tried to do basically was get the stick out, and obviously the puck as well.
I got a little lucky and was able to save it.

Q. On that play, how conscious are you of not kicking the puck in?
ANTON STRALMAN: Yeah, it’s one of those things, you need a little luck to kind of succeed with.
You know, I think it was Gaborik that was going to jump on it because he was right on the slot there with me. I tried to get his stick out first and just keep it there, buy myself some time to do a second effort to get it out.

Q. The team has talked quite a bit about luck throughout this series. Do you feel like it’s turning, going in your favor now?
ANTON STRALMAN: I mean, we certainly got a good bounce out of that first goal. That fed us some energy. I mean, the break they got when Girardi’s stick broke kind of went against us.
At the same time we hung in there the whole game. I didn’t think it was our best game anyways. But, you know, we got it done, and that’s what we wanted.

Q. Going back to L.A., they never had the lead until the end there, how much can you build on that for confidence?
ANTON STRALMAN: Those two games we played, I thought we played real well.
We have to go in with the same mindset we had. What we did in that second game was to work real hard, we put tremendous pressure on their D and feed off their turnovers.
That’s what we tried to do today. We didn’t get that far, I didn’t think. We feel confident on the road or at home, so we’ll go in and play our game.

Q. What can you say about the way Lundqvist played tonight?
ANTON STRALMAN: He was tremendous for us tonight. He came out big numerous times. When the puck was dancing on the goal line, a couple guys cleared it.
He was amazing for us.

ANTON STRALMAN: I mean, we certainly got a good bounce out of that first goal. That fed us some energy. I mean, the break they got when Girardi’s stick broke kind of went against us.
At the same time we hung in there the whole game. I didn’t think it was our best game anyways. But, you know, we got it done, and that’s what we wanted.

Q. Going back to L.A., they never had the lead until the end there, how much can you build on that for confidence?
ANTON STRALMAN: Those two games we played, I thought we played real well.
We have to go in with the same mindset we had. What we did in that second game was to work real hard, we put tremendous pressure on their D and feed off their turnovers.
That’s what we tried to do today. We didn’t get that far, I didn’t think. We feel confident on the road or at home, so we’ll go in and play our game.

Q. What can you say about the way Lundqvist played tonight?
ANTON STRALMAN: He was tremendous for us tonight. He came out big numerous times. When the puck was dancing on the goal line, a couple guys cleared it.
He was amazing for us.

Q. How about the check on Drew Doughty in the first period, talk about that.
ANTON STRALMAN: Yeah, it was just one of those plays that I’m trying to go wide instead of cut in the middle. It’s just a matter of trying to close down the space.
Most guys will stand up. I’ll use my hip (smiling).

An interview with:

HENRIK LUNDQVIST

Q. How would you describe your performance tonight and how nervous were you in the last minute of the game?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, I felt good tonight. I must say, I felt pretty good in every game. It’s just tonight, we had the bounces. We talked about it the first couple games where, you know, especially against this team, you need that little extra puck luck.
They play a lot around the net, a lot of deflections, screens. Sometimes it’s going to hit you and sometimes it’s not. You have to keep telling yourself you’re doing the right things. So that’s what I did. Going into this game, I didn’t want to change anything. I just tried to go out and compete.
A couple close calls. But when you play this game, you have to battle, but then you have to rely on your teammates. Sometimes you have to rely on some luck. Tonight we had it a couple times.
But we played a strong game. But when they turn it up, you know, I think we can match that. But it’s an intense game. Last couple minutes, you know, they came hard.
But we’ve been in that situation before. You just have to trust yourself, trust the system we have, trust your teammates that we’re doing the right things. I felt like we were a lot better tonight.
Being in the lane, especially from their point shots, you know, it was tougher for them to get them through. That’s a big part of their game.

Q. What is it about elimination games that seems to bring out the best in you and your team?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, it’s about competing. When everything is on the line, you just have to challenge yourself the right way, I guess, as a team and personally. You have to go out there and leave everything out there and be extremely focused.
One mistake and the season is over. You’re definitely aware of that. When you go out to these types of games where, you know, you know everything can be over after this period or after the next two periods.
You try even harder to be focused and making the right decisions out there. It’s exciting, though. It’s extremely tough, but it’s fun, especially when it’s that intense out there, a lot of action. Always great to win at home.

Q. Talk about the feeling of momentum, if there is such a thing from game to game, and the challenge of trying to keep something special going in L.A.
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, we went into this game with the approach that we wanted to win at home in front of our fans. That was our approach. We got that accomplished. Now we’re looking for the next game.
When it comes to momentum, you just create that from the start. You set the tone, whatever you want it to be. Whatever happened the last game, it’s over.
You go out, set the tone the first five, ten minutes. Obviously the start in these games are important to show your teammates and show the other team that you’re ready to play, that this is going to be a long night.
That’s the message you want to, you know, send out when you go out for big games, I guess. I mean, we didn’t want to see the Cup coming out on our home ice tonight. Yeah, just the thought of it makes me feel sick (laughter).
But, you know, obviously the goal is to see it through Game 7. But there’s so much work to be done here, we’re just looking at the next game as a great challenge for us.
Again, when they get going, they’re a good team. But at the same time when I compare them to maybe Pittsburgh, they have a lot of skill. Montréal had a lot of speed. But this team, they do every little thing right. They make it tough for you in every little situation.
Sometimes you think you have everything under control, and they create something from basically nothing. You know, they’re shooting the puck, going for rebounds. You have to be on your toes all the time.

Q. On the chance in the final minute, the deflection, it appeared the puck hit some snow. Is that there? As a goalie, do you push it there, or is it being late in the game?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: It’s probably the product of moving a lot. I stay deep in the net, so there’s a lot of snow there.
Obviously a couple times where, like I said, you just have to rely on your teammates and luck.
I thought I had it because I felt the puck, felt like I got a good piece of it on that deflection. I was yelling at the ref to blow the whistle. Then I realized it was behind me for a couple seconds. I actually apologized. But he was cool about it (smiling).
But, again, I didn’t chase anything going into this game. It’s so fast. The game is so fast. You can’t question yourself, you know, when you lose. Sometimes you need to correct things. But that’s what I said after last game. You need to be careful when you analyze your game. If I start changing things, it’s not going to be good for me or the team.
Sometimes you just have to believe in what you’re doing even though you’re not getting the result you want.

Q. A lot of these elimination games or clinching games have been 2 1, 1 0. How much do you draw on that experience in a case like tonight?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, I think we believe in each other in that situation. That’s huge. To know that you can pull it off even though they’re coming at you in a lot of different ways. I think it starts with a mental belief that, you know, we’re doing the right things out there and it’s going to pay off.
Especially in a play like this, every little play matters. I think we did so many good things that in the end it paid off for us. Obviously being in this situation before, yeah, I think it helps us.
Again, it’s coming back to the system and believing that what we’re doing out there is working for us. The way we played tonight, that’s why we’re in the Final, I think. We try to do everything the right way. When it’s time to rely on skill, you do that. But there’s a lot of times where you just have to keep it simple and work extremely hard.

Q. You’ve said you didn’t want to overreact to the first three games because you thought you were playing reasonably well. What did you mean yesterday when you said you needed to raise your level to compete with Quick? How did that manifest itself tonight?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, honestly, I mean, I talked to my goalie coach, too, about it. I’ve been feeling good in all the games. I’m reacting to the pucks the right way. I’m not making the first move. But sometimes you just have to accept, you know, the bounces are coming at you. You can’t change your game just because it happens. I would do the same thing even though you know the result.
Yesterday when I said I have to be better, being okay or good is not going to win you games right now. You have to be better than that.
But I don’t feel like I’ve been giving up bad goals. I think I’m playing my game. I have to believe in what I’m doing out there. Tonight with a great team game and some luck, we got a good result.

Q. As much as you talk about the luck that was on your side tonight, how difficult was it when Girardi’s stick breaks and Dustin Brown comes down on the breakaway?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Yeah, I’m not going to lie. The first thought was, Here we go again. I guess the important thing was to respond the right way. They had a couple chances right after to make saves right away.
At that point I just kept telling myself, We need to keep this score going into the third. That was my approach. They had a little push late in the second after that goal to try to get back in an even game. It felt extremely important to, you know, keep the puck out.
But it’s always mentally challenging when things happen, especially with things like that. You feel like you have a lot of it under control and you get a bad break. You just have to respond the right way and stay positive.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

 

Photo by Getty Images.

Twitter: @RangersReport.

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. there worst performance of the series and they win.

    crazy. the defensive shell in the 3rd is not a winning strategy..

  2. so bloody terrible in the 3rd. amazing they won this game; it’s all down to Hank.

  3. *new video up top. Lundqvist on not wanting to see the Kings win the Cup at the Garden. Click early and often.*

  4. nash missed the empty net with what under 2 minutes left… went wide right…

    amazing.. nash did have 2 premium hits tonight..

  5. It’s really a cool and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this helpful
    info with us. Please stay us informed like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

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