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Rangers need to rally back over Kings in Game 2

The Stanley Cup finals didn't start according to plan for the Los Angeles Kings or New York Rangers. Nevertheless, the Kings at least recovered from their slow start in Game 1, leaving the Rangers hoping they didn't blow their best chance to pull an upset in the finals. They will find out in Game 2 on June 7, as the Rangers hope to have recovered enough to still steal home ice advantage back.

Rangers must defend themselves better in Game 2
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Given the Kings' success on the road in the postseason, the Rangers truly need to take Game 2 before they return to New York, or the Stanley Cup finals might never come back to L.A. However, since the Kings are far more comfortable being behind by 2-0 than ahead -- in a game and a series -- perhaps it would be in their best interest to lose.

Of course, New York could have had a chance to put Los Angeles in a truly comfortable 0-2 hole, if it had held on in Game 1. But after going ahead by 2-0, the Rangers wound up letting Henrik Lundqvist carry them into overtime, where he couldn't hold on against the Kings' onslaught any longer.

While Los Angeles has been a comeback king in the Stanley Cup playoffs, New York has only trailed in the postseason once, when it fell behind by 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. After that, the Rangers caught fire en route to the finals -- but a two-game deficit against a recent champion is different than one against a perennial playoff choker like the Penguins.

The road to the Stanley Cup finals has been paved with comebacks throughout the entire postseason, so overcoming a 2-0 deficit might be a fitting way to end these playoffs. But even if Los Angeles is incapable of playing from ahead in the postseason, New York would ideally rather prove it in Game 2, instead of in Game 3 with a 2-0 hole.

The Kings can either prove the early part of Game 1 was a fluke and cruise like they were expected to in these finals, or reveal that it was a troubling sign of things to come in this series. The Rangers will aim for the latter starting at 7 p.m. est on NBC.