Just when it appeared the New York Rangers would actually be able to hold on to a lead, the Los Angeles Kings came roaring back again.
Trailing 2-0 for the second-straight game, the Kings erased multiple two-goal leads for the Rangers and prevailed 5-4 in double overtime. After two great beginnings in road games during hockey’s ultimate challenge, New York now heads back to the Big Apple down two games to none in the series. Former Nashville Predators defenseman Kevin Klein was again deeply involved in the contest and he takes center stage for take two of the Klein Ratings (read part one here for background).
Overall game: While the overall game had a “here we go again” feel for the Rangers, there really were a lot of unique events within the contest. For starters, Klein played goalie for a few seconds (weeeeee). And he totally would have stopped Jarret Stoll‘s shot if that guy named Henrik Lundqvist hadn’t messed things up (who does he think he is?):
Kevin Klein is no Pekka Rinne.
— Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) June 8, 2014
Say what you will – but @Realkevinklein8 was prepared to take that one right in the jibs. Not meaning to sound all “hockey’s tough” but…
— Brandon Walker (@bgwalker18) June 8, 2014
My response to the other four (!) goals Lundqvist let in: Klein would have saved those! What’s not fair is that Klein really is a pretty capable netminder when others aren’t getting in his way (e.g. the blueliner bailed out Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne against the Winnipeg Jets one night in 2012).
However, only Derek Dorsett played less for the Ranger than Klein did, so there’s that minus too. New York choking again has to be the biggest minus of the whole night, however, so that will be what affects the score the most. Let’s go with two out of five Kleins.
Entertainment Value: Classic example of over-promising and over-hyping on this one. With game one going to OT, it felt like a five out of five Kleins sticker was appropriate (I still hold that it was in large part), but now that we reached a second helping of extra time, five hardly feels sufficient. Incredible third period action, then nail-biting overtimes, gives us another five out of five Kleins (plus imaginary mohawks!) rating.
Random: This has already been said many times, but there clearly was goaltender interference on the Kings third goal. The tally shifted the momentum to L.A. in the opening minutes of the third period, and it shouldn’t have counted because Lundqvist wasn’t able to slide to his right due to Dwight King falling (yes, being pushed a little too) into him. Tough to see such an important game swing on an apparent missed call, so that’s the biggest let down. One out of five Kleins.
Game three is tomorrow and is the Rangers first home game of the series at Madison Square Garden. Faceoff a little after 7:00 p.m. (CST).
(Special thanks to Gary Lancaster for helping with the graphics)