The New York Rangers were one bounce away from winning Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Instead, that bounce went against them -- more specifically, defenseman Dan Girardi -- and they fell to the Los Angeles Kings and now face a series deficit.
But given the way the third period went in that Game 1, the Rangers should feel lucky that they even made it to overtime. Shots were 20-3 in favor of Los Angeles in those final 20 minutes, one of the most lopsided single-period shot totals in Stanley Cup Final history. Henrik Lundqvist kept the Rangers in the game, but that's not the kind of overall effort that's going to lead the Rangers to a championship in 2014.
That's part of what they'll be trying to correct in Game 2, which takes place at Staples Center shortly after 7 p.m. ET on Saturday evening.
Game 1 Recap
Game 1 Recap
"We had Hank that brought his A game last night," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said on Thursday, the day after the Game 1 loss. "We had a couple guys. I don't want to name who I think brought their A game. But our B game won't do it. We're not going to win if we bring our B game to the table. [The Kings are] one of the best teams I've seen in a long time. Areas to exploit, they don't jump out at you. We're going to have to be better than we were."
For Los Angeles, there's a lot to like about Game 1. They certainly didn't like the start of their evening, but they erased a two-goal deficit for seemingly the hundredth time in these playoffs, and again, that third period was absolutely dominant. And of course, they won the game thanks to Justin Williams' OT heroics. Robyn Regehr will likely step back into the Kings lineup in Game 2, probably replacing Matt Greene in the lineup.
For the Rangers, it appears as though John Moore will be back in the lineup after sitting out the last two games due to a suspension handed down in the Eastern Conference Final against Montreal. Defenseman Raphael Diaz is probably the one who will sit as Moore checks back in. Otherwise, lineups are expected to mostly be the same as Game 1.
New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings
Game 2, Stanley Cup Final | Kings lead, 1-0
7 p.m. ET | Staples Center | Los Angeles, Calif.