Kings dominate Rangers to take 3-0 lead in Stanley Cup Final
NEW YORK — Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings are close to finishing off the New York Rangers in a big hurry.
The All-Star goalie had his best game of the finals by far, making 32 saves to put the Kings on the cusp of another coronation with a 3-0 victory over New York in Game 3 on Monday night.
Los Angeles escaped with two overtime wins at home and then took complete command inside Madison Square Garden to take a 3-0 series edge. The Kings are a win away from winning their second Stanley Cup in three years.
The Kings took their first lead of the series on Jeff Carter's goal in the final second of the first period and then stretched the edge to three goals in the second — something the Rangers failed to do in California.
New York will face elimination at home Wednesday night in Game 4.
While there has been only one comeback from a 3-0 hole in the finals, the Kings erased such a deficit in the first round against San Jose.
Defenseman Jake Muzzin scored a power-play goal in the second period, and Mike Richards pushed the lead to three with a goal off a 2-on-1 in the middle frame.
Henrik Lundqvist was hardly at fault on the goals, and finished with 12 saves.
But Quick was perfect.
The Connecticut native, who grew up a fan of the Rangers and 1994 Stanley Cup-winning goalie Mike Richter, made a brilliant save with his stick blade to deny Derick Brassard with 8:40 left in the second shortly after a Rangers power play. That stop came on the heels of Brassard having two chances during the advantage off a rebound of Brad Richards' shot. Brassard's first attempt was blocked, and the second was stopped by Quick.
The Kings goalie was also on his toes just 8 seconds into the third period when Chris Kreider came in alone but was stopped in tight.
That eliminated the little hope the sold-out, towel-waving crowd had of a big comeback.
Los Angeles took its first in-game lead in the series when Carter scored with 10th of the playoffs on Los Angeles' fifth shot. Carter came in and snapped a hard drive that clipped the skate of diving defenseman Dan Girardi in front of Lundqvist and caromed inside the right post with 0.7 seconds on the clock.
The red and green lights behind Lundqvist both flashed at the same time while the Kings celebrated. At no point did Los Angeles hold the lead at home in the first two games until they ended each contest with an overtime goal.
The quick pace played into the Rangers' preferred style, but New York managed only four shots in the period. The Rangers led 2-0 in each of the first two games but couldn't hold on. They nearly took the lead again when Mats Zuccarello faced an empty net at the left post with 7:24 remaining, yet he was stopped by Quick's lunging stick.
Playing with the lead didn't work for New York in LA. The Rangers' early 2-0 lead in the series opener became a 3-2 loss when Justin Williams scored in overtime. They held three two-goal leads in Game 2, only to be thwarted when Kings captain Dustin Brown won it in double overtime on Saturday.
Quick had plenty of support in front of him to post his second shutout in these playoffs and ninth overall in the postseason.
Muzzin made it 2-0 at 4:17 of the second after former Rangers forward Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar worked the puck up the right wing wall to Muzzin at the point for a shot that struck New York's Martin St. Louis and found its way past Lundqvist.
Richards finished a 2-on-1 with Trevor Lewis when his attempted pass across bounced back to him off defenseman Ryan McDonagh and was put it with 2:46 left in the second.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.