Rangers Can’t Hold Early Lead, Drop Game One in Overtime
For the first time in the 2014 NHL playoffs, the New York Rangers failed to secure a game one victory. They had a chance to grasp the all important opener but a couple mistakes and missed opportunities put the Rangers in a hole.
The Rangers got off to a roaring start in the first period when they scored twice on two breakaways in a two minute span from Benoit Pouliot and a shorthanded goal from Carl Hagelin. It was a dream start for the Rangers but the Los Angeles Kings managed to pull one back through Kyle Clifford off of a deflection at the side of the net that flew over Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and in.
It was a pretty even second period but the only goal that would be scored would be from the Kings’ Drew Doughty who made a terrific move around a Rangers defenseman putting the puck through his own legs before fitting the puck through Lundqvist to tie the game.
The Kings turned on the after burners in the third period outshooting the Rangers 20-3 but they could not score. The ice was tilted towards Lundqvist most of the period but when Brian Boyle took a penalty with just a minute and a half left it started to get pretty hectic. Hagelin had a chance for his second shorthanded goal on a breakaway but he was denied by Quick. Then, Jeff Carter took the puck and wrapped it around the net, Hagelin came sliding in but he nearly deflected it into the net before Lundqvist sticked it out. On to overtime we went.
In overtime, the two teams exchanged a couple chances each but Dan Girardi fell down in his own zone and gave the puck away which gave Justin Williams all sorts of free space in front of the net and Williams wasn’t going to miss from there. He scored and the Kings won game one 3-2.
The Rangers showed some good signs in this game, being able to run and gun with the Kings, but missing some key opportunities cost them a chance to open the series with a win. If they can return to their speed game in game two and find a way to bury some of the chances they couldn’t in game one, they should be able to get right back into this series.
Game two is Saturday at 7:15 PM EST on NBC.