The New York Rangers may have fought to live another day, but by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, now making this best of 7 series 3-1 in favor of the Kings, the Rangers cannot and will not survive another 3rd period barrage tonight in Game 5 in Los Angeles.
In the 3rd period of Game 4, with the Rangers trying to hold on to a 2-1 lead at home in order to postpone elimination in the Stanley Cup Finals for another game, the Kings out shot the Rangers 13-2 in that 3rd period. If it was not for Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and some puck luck courtesy of the Madison Square Garden ice, the Rangers would have lost Game 4 without question.
Now, since it is almost impossible for Lundqvist and the ice in Los Angeles to repeat that 3rd period performance in Game 4, for Game 5 tonight the Rangers will have to be a heck of a lot better in every single period. One Rangers’ mistake and it is over, and that 3rd period in Game 4 was filled with Rangers’ mistakes that they are lucky to have survived.
Being dominated and outshot 13-2 in any period during Game 5 tonight for the Rangers will definitely not produce favorable results for the team wearing red, white, and blue. And unlike the Kings, the Rangers have no games to play with because one more Rangers’ loss and the Kings win the Stanley Cup. It is a simple as that.