Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Kings win 3-2 (OT) | LA leads series 1-0 | Game 2 Sat.
LA Kings: It didn't look all that great for the Kings early in this game as they were keeping even with the Rangers in shots in the early going but the Rangers definitely looked the more dangerous team. But as they have done all postseason long, the Kings started slow but definitely woke up. It's not an advisable way to play, falling into holes only to dig yourself out, but the Kings keep doing it and doing it well. There are a few concerns leaving this game. One is finding a way to slow down the Rangers through the neutral zone and getting the defensemen to be more careful at the points. New York got a few too many chances because of poor play or bad decisions by the defensemen mostly. The other was the power play. It's not a stretch to say the Rangers looked better than the Kings when the Kings had the man advantage. But if they're going to be as strong at even strength as they were in the third period, they can get away with that.
New York Rangers: It's tough to get a feel on this first game for the Rangers. On the one hand, they came out and showed they can definitely do some things to give the Kings headaches, really using their speed very well. It's no coincidence that Carl Hagelin was one of the Rangers' most noticeable players on the ice given he's also one of the fastest in the NHL. They were getting plenty of zone time against the Kings but one big problem was they couldn't shoot straight. On many attempts and some very good looks, they just missed the net. The troublesome part, though, was the third period when the Rangers were just eaten up by the Kings, overpowered as the game wore on. In the end they left too much up to Henrik Lundqvist -- who made 40 saves -- but his defense let him down.
Play of the Game: We showed this earlier tonight but we'll shot it again because, well, it was excellent. Drew Doughty scored the game-tying goal in the second period with one heck of an individual effort. Justin Williams' game-winner is available here.
Player of the Game: We can tell you who WASN'T the player of the game, that would be Dan Girardi. It was a rough night, made all the worse by a terrible giveaway in his own zone in OT. Too bad, because it spoiled a heck of a game from Henrik Lundqvist. As for the winners in LA, well of course Justin Williams is a solid candidate as Mr. Game 7 did his thing in Game 1 and Jeff Carter was very good as usual, but you know what? We're going with Kyle Clifford. He had two points -- Clifford! Two points!! -- and we don't get the chance to nominate him often, if ever.
Turning Point: Like it has been so many times in the playoffs, it seemed to really shift when the Kings went down 2-0. They've done that a lot in these playoffs and each time it seems to have awoken them, just as it did in Game 1. The Rangers were flying in the first period but the Kings did a much better job of slowing the game down and it got to the point that they completely took over the pace of play in the latter stages.