LA Kings can go two up in the NHL Final Series. Picture: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers
Sunday June 8 – 9:05 AM (AEST)
The Los Angeles Kings are becoming the heart attack team of the NHL. In their last two games, they have left it until overtime to secure the win. Facing a red-hot New York Rangers team in the Finals was never going to be an easy task. But after what can only be described as nerves of steel, the Kings fought back from a 2-1 deficit to come out victorious.
Justin Williams is becoming the hero for the Kings. He continues to be in the right place at the right time. 4:36 into overtime, he delivered the winning goal to put the Kings in the lead in the Finals. Williams is having a post-season to remember, notching career-high numbers for goals (8), assists (12) and points (20). Along with Kyle Clifford upfront, the Kings have the strike power to put the Rangers to the sword. Coincidently, the Kings also won in overtime against the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the Finals in 2012, and went on to win the Stanley Cup. Defenseman Drew Doughty isn’t getting ahead of himself though, claiming the speed of the Rangers is so dangerous you can never switch off.
The Rangers speed really worried the Kings on Thursday. Both of their goals in the first quarter came from quick breakaways, 102 seconds apart. Carl Hagelin had another breakaway in the last minute of the third period, but was thwarted by Kings Goaltender Jonathan Quick’s glove. Rangers’ superstar Benoit Pouliot believes his team still needs to generate more speed and continue to put the Kings on their heels. The only way to match the Kings size is to go around them, not through them. But the Rangers need to step up their physical game or their speed won’t be as effective. If they hope to stay in the series, the combination of their speed and physicality is what will get them over the line.
It's only Game 2 and both teams are very evenly matched. If both teams play to their advantages, it will be one for the ages.
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