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VIDEO: Anton Stralman sweeps puck off goal line to preserve lead

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

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As much as any other sport in which there are lines, hockey can be a game of inches. Never was that more evident than it was late in the first period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Kings needed every inch of the puck to go over the goal line after trickling through New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, but defenseman Anton Stralman made sure that didn't happen. As Alec Martinez's shot found its way through Lunqvist, the puck started sliding ever so gently to the goal line.

Stralman lunged at the puck and his first swipe missed. It was still headed for the line, but just in the nick of time, the Rangers defenseman got his stick on it, beating Jeff Carter to it and sweeping it right off the line before it could fully cross. Carter actually very nearly put that puck in, but he could not get his stick on it.

It was so close that Martinez actually had raised his hands to celebrate a goal, but it was not to be. The officials did check the video on it, but it was clear that the puck never madew it all the way. Here's another look via @myregularface:

Stralman's save preserved the Rangers lead that was gained by another game-of-inches play on Benoit Pouliot's mid-air tip. This Game 4 is starting to have a different feel than the hard-luck Game 3, but there's a long way to go if the Rangers want to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive.

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