You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

NHL

  • Howard makes 28 saves, Red Wings beat Blue Jackets
    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for his 19th career shutout, and Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco each had a goal and an assist to lift the Detroit Red Wings past the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0 on Tuesday night.
  • Red Wings’ slow start ends in loss
    Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist while Dustin Tokarski made 28 saves as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 Sunday night.
  • Blackhawks rally in third period to beat Stars
    CHICAGO — Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied with four goals in the third period to defeat the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Sunday night.
Advertisement
Stanley Cup
New York vs. Los Angeles
Series: Kings lead 3-0
Game 1: Los Angeles 3, New York 2, OT
Game 2: Los Angeles, 5, New York 4, 2OT
Game 3: Los Angeles 3, New York 0
Today: at New York, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Friday: at Los Angeles, 8 p.m. (NBC)*
Monday: at New York, 8 p.m. (NBC)*
June 18: at Los Angeles, 8 p.m. (NBC)*
* If necessary
Associated Press
Los Angeles has had plenty to celebrate through the first three games of the Stanley Cup final and tonight the Kings will go for a sweep of New York.

Rangers focus only on returning to LA

– The gravity of the situation was etched on the face of New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. One more loss tonight to the Los Angeles Kings and his squad gets the distinction of being swept in the Stanley Cup final.

No team has been swept in the final since Detroit did it to Washington in 1998, completing a run of four straight Stanley Cup sweeps. So while the Kings are trying to close out the series, New York’s focus is strictly on moving past disappointment and getting back to L.A. for Game 5.

“We’re down 3-0. We’re all lacking sleep. This is tough,” Vigneault said on a day of optional practices. “I didn’t expect my players today to be cheery and upbeat. We’re in the Stanley Cup finals, and we’re down 3-0. You don’t get a lot of these opportunities.

“Excuse us if today we’re not real cheery, but tomorrow I can tell you we’re going to show up.”

The only levity expressed after the Rangers were beaten 3-0 at home by goalie Jonathan Quick and the Kings was when Vigneault was asked what his team could do differently at Madison Square Garden.

“Score,” he said.

The packed room of reporters laughed. Vigneault didn’t.

The present predicament makes it seem long ago that the Rangers led by two goals in the series opener, and then held three two-goal leads in Game 2. Both of those ended with overtime wins by Los Angeles that sparked the Kings and demoralized New York.

Getting blanked in the first Stanley Cup final game at the Garden since the Rangers last won the Cup in 1994 only made them feel worse.

“I do believe we can turn this around. I do,” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said, “because we’ve been that close in every game.”

Even in the shutout loss, the Rangers outshot the Kings 32-15. They haven’t been dominated, but they also haven’t found a way to win.

The Kings know both sides of a 3-0 series. They trailed by that margin in the opening round of this postseason to San Jose and then became the fourth NHL team to rally and win.

“We’ve been down a lot this postseason, we’ve been up, been in some exciting games, some long games,” Kings forward Jarret Stoll said. “We just keep playing, trying to find a way to win. We’ve had some fortunate bounces.”

Two years ago, the Kings went up 3-0 in the finals against New Jersey – the fourth straight series they built such a lead – but allowed the Devils to stay alive until Game 6.

Premature celebrations, ticket requests from people close to the players and other distractions took players’ focus away from the game and penetrated the Kings’ insulated wall, the one no-nonsense coach Darryl Sutter worked hard to create.

“Game 4 was at home. There was a lot of distraction,” Sutter said of 2012. “That was a lesson learned, not just for our players but for our whole organization. We were trying to keep our players as a little inner circle, but the circle got a little bit of infringement.”

The Rangers are hoping that kind of history repeats.

New York has never come back to win a series it trailed 3-0, but the Rangers rallied to knock out Pittsburgh in the second round this year after trailing 3-1.

“Today is a tough day,” forward Brad Richards said. “Your mind is racing on a thousand different things you could’ve done. But you have to make the best of it. The series is not over. We all can’t wait to get back on the ice. It’s just the waiting and the thinking.

“We’ve just got to get back into the battle and see where it goes.”

Where they hope it goes is back to L.A. for Game 5. One win can turn the mindset and the perspective on both sides: belief in one room, a sliver of doubt in the other.

Advertisement