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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, June 13 (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (1-3) at Los Angeles Kings (3-1), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers stayed alive in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals thanks to a brilliant performance from Henrik Lundqvist. However, the Los Angeles Kings will get another shot at winning their second championship in three years when the clubs meet Friday at Staples Center.

The Rangers lost the first three tests of this best-of-seven set, but finally broke through with a 2-1 victory Wednesday in New York.

Lundqvist was the clear star for the Blueshirts, stopping 40 shots, including all 15 in a frantic third period to keep Los Angeles from mounting another comeback win in this series. Martin St. Louis netted the deciding goal early in the second to help the Rangers push the series to tonight's Game 5 battle in the City of Angels.

Faced with the prospect of being the first team to be swept out of the Stanley Cup Finals since Detroit beat the Washington Capitals in 1998, Lundqvist and his club improved to 11-2 in their last 13 elimination games and 5-0 during these playoffs.

"We didn't want that Cup out on our home ice. The thought of it makes me sick," Lundqvist admitted. "It's about competing, you have to be extremely focused, one mistake and the season's over. Exciting. Tough, but fun."

The 32-year-old Swedish starter now owns an 8-0 record, 0.99 GAA, a .968 save percentage and two shutouts in his last eight games when facing elimination at home.

Benoit Pouliot recorded a first-period tally for the Rangers, who hung on despite posting only one shot in the game's final 20 minutes. Pouliot's goal ended Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick's shutout streak at 123 minutes, 1 second.

Dustin Brown scored and Quick made 17 saves for the Kings, who have a chance to celebrate winning their second Cup on home ice since 2012. L.A. beat New Jersey in six games for the crown in 2012. The Kings also opened a 3-0 lead in that series, but lost two straight before lifting the Cup at the Staples Center in Game 6.

"It doesn't mean a whole lot. We wanted to close it out tonight, and we didn't do it," said Kings forward Anze Kopitar of being unable to sweep the Rangers. "But now we're going home, and we're going to try to close it there."

In addition to a superb performance from their star goaltender, the Rangers also received the benefit of some "puck luck" in posting the franchise's first Cup Finals victory on home ice since the clinching Game 7 of the 1994 Finals against Vancouver. Their second one led to the game winner.

During an odd-man rush, Derek Stepan attempted a dish to Chris Kreider in the slot, but his stick shattered and the puck slid off a Kings defender before snaking under a needlessly-sliding Quick. St. Louis wisely stayed in position on the left wing and tapped the puck in from the near-side post at the 6:27 mark of the second period to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage.

Brown halved the Kings' deficit with 8:46 played on a breakaway, moving past Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi -- whose stick shattered at the right point -- and beating Lundqvist after several dekes from atop the crease. The score came two seconds after a Tyler Toffoli slashing minor expired.

Los Angeles' offense seemed to kick into another gear at that point, but Lundqvist stayed calm under the onslaught to prevent the Kings from claiming another win after falling behind 2-0 in a game. The Rangers blew two-goal leads en route to losing both Games 1 and 2 at L.A. beyond regulation, but were able to survive Game 4 with the win.

On two occasions in Wednesday's game, the puck sat on the goal line behind Lundqvist and went no further thanks to a little help from his teammates.

Midway through the first period, Jeff Carter had a prime chance to knot the score at 1-1 when a puck trickled between Lundqvist's pads and headed for goal. Carter, however, failed to connect on his first chance and Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman was able to clear the disc out of harms way before the Kings forward could get a second crack at it.

With time winding down in the third period, the situation repeated itself. Only this time, a bit of snow on the ice and the glove hand of New York's Derek Stepan saved the day. The puck found its way between Lundqvist's pads again and slowed down just before the goal line when Stepan swept it out of danger with his fingertips.

"It's not easy. The stress level is a little high obviously when the puck is laying there on the goal line," said St. Louis. "We had a little 'puck luck' tonight. And you take those."

The Rangers have won an NHL record eight straight home playoff games when their season was on the line, since Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals vs. Pittsburgh. Detroit (1949-55) and the Montreal Canadiens (1934-40) previously shared the top spot with seven in a row. New York will need to extend that NHL record to win this series, but first it has to survive tonight's elimination game on the road.

Only four teams in NHL history have come back from down 3-0 to win a best-of- seven set, and only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs pulled it off in the Stanley Cup Finals when they beat Detroit.

The Kings, of course, became the fourth NHL team to come back from down 3-0 when they rallied to beat San Jose in the first round of this postseason.

If the Rangers can stave off elimination again, the clubs will meet Monday in New York for Game 6.

06/13 10:37:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
UNCW 66
ECU 54
Final
CAR 2
NYR 3
Final
CHA 104
UTA 86
Final
WVU 83
NCSU 69
1:00pm Today
CAR
CLE
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
Final
NYK 90
PHO 99
Final
NOP 88
POR 114
Final
CHA 104
UTA 86
Final
HOU 97
ATL 104
Final
DAL 99
SAN 93
Final
DEN 76
IND 73
Final
LAC 106
MIL 102
3:30pm Today
TOR
NYK
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
LALAF 16
NEV 3
Final
UTEP 6
UTST 21
Final
COLST 10
UTAH 45
Final
AFA 38
WMICH 24
Final
BGU 33
SALABAMA 28
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
Final
UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
Final
BING 51
BONA 69
 
Final
RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
Final
MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
Final
JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
Final
GT 65
VANDY 60
Final
INDST 56
EILL 60
 
Final
BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
Final
OREG 83
DELST 70
 
Final
Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
Final
TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 76
STJOE 54
 
Final
KENT 83
UCLA 44
Final
COC 68
DAVID 80
Final
RIU 69
DET 55
Final
UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
Final
MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
Final
NWST 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
WAGN 66
MON 74
 
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
PITT 81
OU 77
Final
TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
Final
WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
Final
AFA 75
UCD 81
Final
MSST 51
USCU 53
 
Final
JMU 71
HIGH 80
 
Final
TXST 90
HTILL 56
 
Final
DRAK 54
ISU 83
Final
SHU 73
UNH 60
 
Final
SCU 72
NE 78
 
Final
MSU 64
TXSOU 71
Final
UF 63
WAKE 50
Final
ND 94
PURD 63
Final
SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
Final
AUB 89
XAV 88
Final
AKR 92
BLUFFTON 53
 
Final
DAY 78
BU 62
 
Final
UNCW 66
ECU 54
Final
CLMB 82
HOF 77
 
Final
GMAS 86
IONA 81
Final
TOWS 53
LAS 67
Final
MAN 73
MRGST 69
 
Final
CCST 76
YALE 84
 
Final
PEPP 63
RICH 65
Final
MAR 58
STJOE 75
Final
KYST 71
TEXAM 64
Final
MAST 72
VALPO 75
 
Final
UMKC 104
INCWORD 110
 
Final
IDST 50
CALST 59
 
Final
NIOWA 56
IOWA 44
Final
SIUE 61
UWMIL 56
 
Final
TEX 78
LBSU 68
Final
TCU 88
TXSA 57
Final
ARK 84
SEMIZ 67
Final
NCOL 69
JVST 60
 
Final
ARST 81
LEH 84
 
Final
NMST 67
NMU 69
 
Final
WASH 69
OKLA 67
Final
GRCN 81
STED 55
 
Final
WEBER 73
WLVRN 61
 
Final
WVU 83
NCSU 69
Final
SDST 70
BST 57
Final
GONZ 63
CPSL 50
Final
PAC 71
FRES 68
Final
PORT 87
MNTST 60
 
Final
CSNO 68
TAMCC 75
 
Final
UTST 65
SDKST 68
 
Final
BYU 79
STAN 77
Final
UNLV 46
UTAH 59
12:00pm Today
UVA
HARV
1:00pm Today
BGU
FERST
 
1:00pm Today
ARMY
MAINE
 
1:00pm Today
QUIN
ORST
1:00pm Today
CLST
USF
 
1:30pm Today
CARK
CCAR
 
2:00pm Today
UWGB
ARKLR
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
CORN
 
2:00pm Today
UNT
CREI
2:00pm Today
CAN
HC
 
2:00pm Today
USB
GHND
 
2:00pm Today
OKST
MD
2:00pm Today
WINT
REIN
 
2:00pm Today
UGST
SMISS
2:00pm Today
NEOM
TXPA
 
2:00pm Today
STLU
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
UNCA
WCU
 
2:05pm Today
EVAN
ALAST
 
2:30pm Today
HART
FIU
 
2:35pm Today
VALPO
GOSHEN
 
3:00pm Today
LIP
PEAY
 
3:00pm Today
DEN
BRY
 
3:00pm Today
MONT
SD
 
3:00pm Today
MTST
TENST
3:00pm Today
SAMF
LAMON
 
3:30pm Today
SCAR
COKR
 
4:00pm Today
HAMP
NARZ
 
4:00pm Today
SDU
SDCHR
 
4:00pm Today
BC
USC
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
Final
LOS 4
ARI 2
Final
CLB 3
CHI 2
Final
BUF 1
COL 5
Final
PIT 3
FLA 1
Final
CAR 2
NYR 3
Final
MON 4
OTT 1
Final
TOR 4
PHI 7
Final
NYI 3
TAM 1
Final
NJD 0
WAS 4
Final
MIN 5
NAS 6
Final
VAN 3
CAL 2
Final
SJS 3
STL 2
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
WAS 27
PHI 24
Final
SFX 35
SDC 38
1:00pm Today
NOS
ATL
1:00pm Today
HOU
BAL
1:00pm Today
CAR
CLE
1:00pm Today
CHI
DET
1:00pm Today
TAM
GBP
1:00pm Today
PIT
KAN
1:00pm Today
MIA
MIN
1:00pm Today
NYJ
NEP
4:05pm Today
STL
NYG
4:25pm Today
OAK
BUF
4:25pm Today
DAL
IND
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA