Let's be honest, Henrik Lundqvist entered Game 4 having not played his best hockey in the Stanley Cup Final. Some of it was his fault. Some of it was out of his control. But for the Rangers to have a chance they needed him to be better. On Wednesday night, he was better. Much better. He played his best game of the series and completely shut down the Kings in New York's 2-1 win, stopping 40 of the 41 shots he faced. It was the 16th time in 25 starts this postseason that he has allowed two goals or less.
THE RANGERS FINALLY CATCH SOME BREAKS
Remember when the Rangers couldn't get a bounce to go their way in the first three games? Well, they got more than one on Wednesday. Marian Gaborik hit the crossbar on an odd-man rush. Anton Stralmansaved a goal after the puck slowly rolled behind Lundqvist. And then a little pile of snow that built up in the crease made the save of the season in the final minute of regulation. Sometimes the breaks go your way, sometimes they don't. In Game 4, they most definitely went the Rangers' way.
It seems that we are in the final days of the Brad Richards era in New York. He was relegated to fourth-line duty for Game 4, playing just 13 minutes and recording two shots on goal in the win. It's not like he had a bad regular season (he did score 20 goals), but he has become a non-factor in the postseason and has been mostly invisible as it's gone on. He has just one assist in his past nine games and hasn't scored a goal since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
ONE MORE GAME?
Did the Rangers simply delay the inevitable with this win? Is it too little, too late? Or can this be the start of an historic comeback, or at the very least, what could suddenly become an interesting series? If the Kings play like they did on Wednesday and fire 41 shots at Lundqvist, you have to like their chances to close this out in Game 5, and had it not been for a couple of crazy goal line plays it might already be over.
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