Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Rangers lost game three of the Stanley Cup Finals and now face elimination. It was a game of chess moves between the two coaches and Daryl Sutter won this one. The New York Rangers dominated in almost every single statistic recorded in this game except the scoreboard in which they were shutout three to nothing. The first period was a fast paced period but there were only nine shots on goal, four of which were for the New York Rangers. They were solid for the most part until on a rush both Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh followed the puck carrier Justin Williams. Jeff Carter followed the rush up the middle of the ice and a quick pass left him alone with the time and space to fire a wrist shot over Henrik Lundqvist. The goal came with less than a second left in the first period. They had one unproductive power play in the first period and it gave the team absolutely no momentum. That’s been a glaring problem for them since the Stanley Cup Finals started.
The New York Rangers Lose Game Three Now Face Elimination
“We’re down three games to none but it feels like we could easily have at least two wins here, but it’s not the case. At some point you’re going to need some puck luck and we don’t have any right now. It feels like they have all of it.” Henrik Lundqvist from CBS Sports
The New York Rangers started to take away the Los Angeles Kings point shots that killed them in-game two. The Los Angeles Kings countered by playing the puck down low into the openings now created by New York Ranger forwards covering the defenseman at the point. Both countered all night long back and forth. What Alain Vineault did was send a second forward in on the forecheck since the Los Angeles Kings were taking the middle of the ice away. Not allowing the Rangers to carry the puck in the offensive zone. It was a smart move on the part of the New York Rangers coach and it worked all night long. The New York Rangers had chance after chance but weren’t able to beat Jonathan Quick. The Los Angeles Kings goaltender was subhuman in this tilt. The New York Rangers peppered Jonathan Quick but he was the reason the Los Angeles Kings won, and the way they did. I’m not saying the New York Rangers would win if not for Jonathan Quick but this game has a much different outcome if not for the brick wall he built on his goal line. The New York Rangers built a wide lead in Corsi events in this game by owning the puck most of the night. The Los Angeles Kings just capitalized on the few mistakes the Rangers made. A look at the Possession Statistics shows how dominant the New York Rangers were in this game, especially after the first period when they got their legs. 2014-06-09: Kings 3 at Rangers 0 Game Advanced Stats | Extra Skater.
The power play has become a liability for the New York Rangers
The New York Rangers like to use a 1-3-1 power play set with the man advantage. In the early parts of the season it was their saving grace and at one point in the season the power play was ranked sixth in the league. They were operating at over a twenty percent success rate. In the playoffs though, the New York Rangers power play has a shooting percentage of ten percent. That isn’t cutting it and tonight in a crucial game 3 down 2 games to none the man advantage went 0 for six. Those six unsuccessful power play chances were without their best offensive player on the ice. For whatever reason Rick Nash played less than two minutes with the extra skater. He instead gives the struggling Brad Richards 8.8 minutes of ice time as the point man and a fourth forward. When will Alain Vineault change his tactics and get some players on the power play that can get the job done? Hopefully before the brooms come out in Los Angeles. Before the Madison Square Garden crowd has to watch Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown lifting the Stanley Cup. I think the fourth line would have better success five on four with Rick Nash at the point instead of Brad Richards. Or where he should be positioned in front of the net looking for tips and rebounds. If Alain Vineault can’t find a successful formula for success at five on four, then there will be a disappointed New York crowd. It’s too bad it was in a loosing effort but Mats Zuccarello played another amazing game. If only there were four more players like him on this New York Rangers team.