Rangers beat Kings in thriller to extend Stanley Cup
By Julian Linden
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Henrik Lundqvist pulled off 40 saves as the New York Rangers held their nerve to edge the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Wednesday and avoid being swept in the Stanley Cup Final while reviving slim hopes of winning their first championship in two decades.
Needing a victory to extend the best-of-seven series, the Rangers survived a ferocious fightback from the Kings to win a heart-pounding Game Four at Madison Square Garden and send the teams back to California.
Roared on by their long-suffering fans, New York got goals from Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis while their inspirational Swedish netminder succeeded in stonewalling the Kings' offense after he conceded a breakaway goal to the Kings' captain Dustin Brown.
"They threw everything they had at us. Our goaltender stood tall, gave us a chance," said a relieved New York head coach Alain Vigneault.
"He had to make some huge saves in the second and the third. He got, and we got, a few bounces. You need those. Maybe the luck is changing a little bit."
The odds are still heavily stacked against the Rangers winning another three consecutive elimination games to capture their first NHL title since 1994 with the series headed to Los Angeles on Friday for Game Five.
The Kings clinched their first Stanley Cup title on home ice two years ago and defenseman Drew Doughty said he was confident his side could finish things off at home this time.
"We would have liked to finish it tonight but having the next game back at home, that is where we are comfortable," he said. Continued...