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.
Rangers win 2-1 | LA leads series 3-1 | Game 5 Fri.
New York Rangers: Puck Luck! Talk about that and hanging on for dear life, my goodness. The Rangers were all steadfast in their belief that the series wasn't finished and that the Kings wouldn't win the Stanley Cup in Madison Square Garden. They came out looking that way too, scoring on a little spurt in the first period and then finally finding a way to beat Jonathan Quick on a second chance in the second to build up the 2-0 lead. It's been a dreaded lead this series for New York and it nearly was again because for the final half of this game the Rangers were doing nothing but defending and praying. Henrik Lundqvist answered those prayers. You are flirting with danger when you sit back as much as they did but it worked for this one and the series is going back to LA.
LA Kings: Perhaps the Kings had to pay up for the bounces they had earlier in this series. Not once but twice did the Kings have the puck sitting right on the Rangers goal line and yet they couldn't get it to go. The forecheck was tremendous as usual and in the latter half of the game when they got the puck in the zone, it was staying in the zone for a while. Even though they didn't come back from the two-goal deficit, they certainly tried and played their most dominant hockey of this series in the final 30 minutes. In the third period they outshot New York 15-1 and ended up with a 41-19 edge. The Kings really wanted the sweep in this one but they won't feel too bad about this game heading back home with a chance to clinch on home ice. They didn't lose for a lack of effort.
Play of the Game: There's no getting around this play at the end of the game that preserved the Rangers win was the play of the game. The Kings thought the puck was in and if it happened at the beginning of the period without the ice buildup, it would have been in. Who says the Rangers don't have any luck in this series?
Player of the Game: There really is just one answer for this: Henrik Lundqvist. Coming into this series the belief was that Lundqvist was going to have to steal a couple of games for the Rangers to have a chance and in this one he did. The Kings were relentless in their attack over the final half of the game but Lundqvist stood tall, saving the Rangers once again in an elimination game.
Turning Point: The game started off pretty evenly balanced but when Willie Mitchell took a penalty to put the Rangers power play on the ice, they were able to gain a little traction and chances. Technically the goal from Benoit Pouliot came just after the power play ended but they got started with that and then were able to built up a 2-0 lead. Of course the game turned again after that goal as the Kings simply dominated the remainder of the game but Lundqvist was better than good and held the lead for the Rangers.
GIF of the Game: The man of the night, Lundqvist, was just a little excited when the final buzzer sounded and he held on to the Rangers' one-goal lead. That was his best performance of the series by a long shot (GIF via @MyRegularFace).