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Rangers Avoid the Sweep With 2-1 Win vs. Kings

by Photo of Gil Santos

Henrik Lundqvist keeps the Rangers’ season alive with an exceptional 40-save performance.

Rangers Avoid the Sweep With 2-1 Win vs. Kings

It took a little bit of luck and Henrik Lundqvist's best performance of the series, but the New York Rangers live on to fight another day. The Rangers avoided the sweep as they defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in Game 5. The Rangers are now 11-2 in their last 13 elimination games. 

Lundqvist made 40 saves on 41 shots while Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis found the back of the net for the Blue Shirts. Dustin Brown contributed the lone goal for the Kings. Jonathan Quick stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced. 

Bad fortunes have plagued the Rangers in the first three games of this series, but puck luck was on their side last night. There were two instances where the puck stopped at or near the goal line. In the first period, Martinez's blast from the point squeaked through Lundqvist and the puck stopped right on the line. Jeff Carter tried to tap it home, but his stick went over the puck and Anton Stralman slid it away from the line.

In waning minutes of the third, Martinez fired a turnaround shot that Tanner Pearson deflected. Lundqvist made the stop and tried to freeze it, but the puck went through his legs and this time it halted right before the line. Before any King could get to it, Derek Stepan swept the puck with his glove into Lundqvist.

For the third time this series, the Rangers grabbed the early two-goal lead. This time around they were able to hold onto it. 

After Willie Mitchell was sent to the box for high sticking, the Rangers' power play finally broke through. John Moore fired a slap shot from the blue line and Benoit Pouliot deflected it high past Quick. It was Pouliot's fifth tally of the playoffs and second in the series.

In the second period, the Rangers doubled up their lead with St. Louis' second goal of the series. With both Chris Kreider and St. Louis driving the net, Derek Stepan put a soft shot on goal while his stick broke. The puck then went off Alec Martinez's stick through Jonathan Quick's legs wide left and St. Louis shot home the rebound. 

But the Kings bounced back quickly and gave the Rangers a hint of deja-vu. At the end of a Rangers' power play, Dan Girardi broke his stick on a shot from the blue line that sprung Brown on a breakaway. Brown made several dekes before he put it past Lundqvist on the right post to make it 2-1.

The Kings thoroughly dominated the third period, outshooting the Rangers 15-1, but they were unable to find the game-tying goal. 

The chances for a comeback are still slim-to-none for the Rangers, but at least they gave their fans a win in the Stanley Cup Final and a tiny glimmer of hope. 

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