LOS ANGELES – Game Two last night was nearly a repeat of Game One's wild battle between the Kings and the visiting Eastern Conference champs, the New York Rangers.
The Rangers in both games had an incredible start, establishing an early 2-0 lead over the Kings. But as they have shown all throughout this playoff run, the Kings refused to lose and fought back to claim victories in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.
It may not have been comfortable for the Kings to find themselves behind the eight-ball, but it is familiar to them. Their last three games, which includes Game Seven of the Western Conference Final, saw the Kings behind, 2-0 in the First Period. Incidentally enough, the Kings pulled off overtime wins in each of those games.
A common theme for the Kings this year is that they seem to be constantly on the brink of disaster, either facing elimination, or being down on the scoreboard. They are a team that is pushed to the ledge, but whether it is heart, mental fortitude, or the will to win, the Kings have proven time and time again that they have the resolve and skills to keep pressing forward in what is proving to be one of the most grueling routes to the Cup in history (no other team has ever played 21 games to the Cup Final, and last night's game extended to a second overtime).
It would be remiss to not give due credit to the Rangers. New York played extremely well in each of the two games. In Game Two, they forced the Kings to commit 33 turnovers with big hits, anticipation, and speed. The Rangers also drew five penalties (but only scored during one power play), and developed great scoring chances with odd-man rushes across the blue line.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist produced an outstanding performance and gave his team a chance to win. Indeed, New York put the Kings against the ropes, but so far, have been unable to finish them.
Jarret Stoll, Willie Mitchell, Dwight King, Marian Gaborik, and Dustin Brown (game-winning-goal) scored for the Kings, and Jonathan Quick stopped 34 of 38 shots.
With the series moving to New York for Games Three and Four, Madison Square Gardens will be roaring with Rangers fans, hoping their team can win against the odds, just as the Kings have done so many times already.