The Los Angeles Kings had a chance to sweep the New York Rangers in Game Four, but were unable to close out the series. Instead the Rangers got the win and kept the series alive and we’re looking to win their second game of the series in Game Five.
It was an early goal for the Rangers in Game Four that helped the Rangers gain momentum and pull out the win, and it was an early goal that put them in dire straits early on. It wasn’t a pretty goal either and could very easily have been prevented.
The puck lingered in front of the net and the Kings repeatedly tried to smash it in while a lone Rangers defender spent more time looking for the puck than clearing out the Kings attackers. Eventually it popped out and Justin Williams very softly backhanded it in and some how it slid underneath Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
It took till the second period and a power play for the Rangers to pull even. Brad Richards passed it to Ryan McDonagh in the circle on the far side of the rink. With Kings goalie Jonathan Quick cheating to that post, McDonagh sent a pass across the face of the goal and found Chris Kreider’s stick at the back post for an easy tap in.
That breathed some life into the Rangers playoff hopes, which are on the brink of elimination in this game. They’d still need another goal to extend the series and keep their championship hopes alive.
Later in the second period, while short-handed the Rangers struck again. This one was even prettier than the Rangers first goal. With the puck drifting out past the blue line, a Rangers defender fought off a Kings player for the puck and was able to dump it over to Brian Boyle coming down the center of the ice. Boyle cheated to the right side before switching over to the left side and ripping the shot on goal once Quick dropped down.
The puck flew to the top right corner over Quick’s shoulder, hit the pipe at the back of the goal and bounced right back out giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead late in the game.
The Rangers needed to hold on 20 minutes to force a game six. About seven minutes into the third period there was a quick successions of shots on goal from the Kings. Fortunately Lundqvist made a save and the puck dangerously floated towards the back post but was eventually cleared out of the zone and they iced the puck.
On the ensuing face off, the pick was immediately shot by Jake Muzzin. Lundqvist made another save but it created another faceoff in the Rangers’ defensive zone.
This time the Rangers were able to win the faceoff and get the puck out of the zone but were called for a tripping penalty by Mats Zuccarello giving the Kings a powerplay.
A mere handful of seconds into the powerplay, the Kings tied the game up. A shot from Drew Doughty hit Lundqvist right in the chest and dropped to the ice right in front of him between his legs. Marian Gaborik was there right in front of the goal and just tapped it through his five hole tying the game up and setting up a dramatic finish.
Seconds after that goal when play resumed McDonagh had a shot go just wide of Quick’s goal. Both teams got numerous chances and shots off for the remainder of the period but neither team was able to break through and this one was headed to an over time period.
In the second period of overtime the game finally came to an end. There were numerous chances in a thrilling back and forth that had pucks hitting off the posts repeatedly.
Alec Martinez scored the game winner after a puck bounced off Lundqvist and landed in front of him for the put back.