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Five Potential Impact Players in Stanley Cup Final Game 5

by Photo of Gil Santos

The Kings look to finish off the Rangers in front of their home crowd.

Five Potential Impact Players in Stanley Cup Final Game 5

The Los Angeles Kings are one victory away from their second Stanley Cup in three years. They can practically taste it. But as the New York Rangers have proven in these playoffs, they are an incredibly resilient team, so it won't easy for the Kings to eliminate them tonight. Here are five players that could play a factor in Game 5:

1. Tanner Pearson, Kings

Pearson was unbelievable in Game 4. He showed a lot of explosiveness, blazing past Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal on two separate occasions for two great scoring chances. Pearson finished the night with a team-leading eight shots on goal and received third star honors. However, he wasn't able to get on the scoresheet for the first time this series. Game 4 could be a sign of things to come and this is the game where he finally breaks through. 

2. Anton Stralman, Rangers

Stralman played his best game of the series as he was steady as a rock defensively in Game 4. He made one of the biggest saves of the night, swiping a puck away from the goal line in the first period. The Rangers will need Stralman to play at similar level if they want to limit the Kings' top lines like they did on Wednesday. 

3. Justin Williams, Kings

While it's not Game 7 yet, Williams has a knack for making an impact in the Kings' biggest games. The Conn Smythe candidate is having a great series with a goal and five assists. In a potential close out game, look for Williams to cap off a strong series with an important goal. 

4. Chris Kreider, Rangers

With just two points this series, many thought Kreider would have a much bigger impact because of his combination of speed and size. However, it hasn't turned out that way and it has earned him a demotion to the third line with Dominic Moore and Martin St. Louis. Kreider has had a couple of opportunities to score on breakaways but was unable to cash in. With a guy like St. Louis as his linemate to distribute the puck or get shots on net with Kreider in front of the net, he could be due for a big game.

5. Anze Kopitar, Kings

The Kings' star has yet to score in the series, but he has made his presence felt elsewhere. He's been really good on the penalty kill and in the face-off circle, especially in the last two contests. But tonight is when he should finally tally up his first of the series. Kopitar has come up huge before in potential close-out games this post-season. In those five games, he has two goals and four assists. 

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