LIVE blog: Stanley Cup Final Game 1, Rangers vs. Kings

The Kings and Rangers will battle for Lord Stanley's Cup. (Getty Images)
The Kings and Rangers will battle for Lord Stanley's Cup. (Getty Images)

Kings 3, Rangers 2 (FINAL)

15:24, 1st OT: KINGS WIN! Dan Girardi has just a terrible time in his own zone, falls down and the Kings take full advantage. Mike Richards collects the puck and passes it to Justin Williams who was completely uncontested in the slot and he beats Henrik Lundqvist. Kings strike first in the series.

19:36, 1st OT: Penalty Killed! Brian Boyle is out of the box as we're back at even strength which honestly probably isn't bad news for the Kings at this point, nor the Rangers.

20:00, 1st OT: The Kings still have another 24 seconds on the power play.

Intermission: So this is pretty interesting, Kings pizza.

Intermission: The third period started in rather ridiculously lopsided fashion with the Kings outshooting the Rangers 13-0 over the first half, plus some. Henrik Lundqvist made save after save, some more difficult than others, to overcome the overwhelming onslaught. He ended the third with 20 saves. The Rangers managed a mere three shots, but one of them came in the final 45 seconds when Carl Hagelin broke in on another shorthanded breakaway. Jonathan Quick came way out to challenge and made the save and the Kings went all the way down. Jeff Carter nearly ended the game  with his wrap-around chance that he nearly banked in off of Hagelin who made it all the way back down on the back check. That last minute of action was ridiculous. Somehow the Rangers survived that period and now have time left to kill on Brian Boyle's late penalty. If the OT is anything close to the last minute of action we saw in the third, be prepared to not breathe for a while. -- Chris Peters

0:00, 3rd Period: OVERTIME. We're going to need some more hockey because the final minutes weren't entertaining enough.

0:30, 3rd Period: WHOA, WOW, HOLY COW! Carl Hagelin gets a break short-handed again but Quick comes out to make the great save and then the puck nearly bounces in anyway. The Kings then go the other way and Jeff Carter's wraparound attempt comes within inches of going in. What a sequence!

1:36, 3rd Period: POWER PLAY, Kings! Brian Boyle, New York's biggest penalty killer, is called for a slash. This is a pretty pivitol moment if the Kings can actually find something on the power play. The play down the stretch has really picked up to the first-period pace again.

3:15, 3rd Period: The Rangers get a 3-on-1 breakaway ... and Rick Nash loses the puck. Oof.

5:40, 3rd Period: Tyler Toffoli nearly gave the Kings the lead as he undressed Dan Girari there on a rush but can't get a clean shot off, losing the handle on the puck and then whiffing on the puck after a pokecheck from Lundqvist (via @MyRegularFace).

8:17, 3rd Period: We have a Rangers shot! Martin St. Louis actually gets a very good shot too, getting a small bit of daylight and a shot up high but Quick turns it away, coming out of his crease to contest the shot.

9:39, 3rd Period: Teams are back at even strength but the Rangers are STILL looking for a shot this period. Meanwhile the Kings have 13.

12:06, 3rd Period: We're going to have 4-on-4 hockey here as Rick Nash is put into the box for holding while Drew Doughty is going to the sin bin for embellishment. Maybe with Doughty off the ice and a little more space, the Rangers can finally get a shot on Quick.

12:57, 3rd Period: The first 7-plus minutes of this period is nothing but Kings. Shots so far 10-0 in this period and that's with the Kings getting zero shots in a two-minute power play.

15:23, 3rd Period: Penalty Killed! The good news for the Kings is that was their best power play of the night. The bad is that the first two were pretty terrible and they still didn't score. They have been credited with no shots on the three power plays, though that time they did get attempts that either missed or were blocked.

17:23, 3rd Period: This is quite the start to the third period for the Kings. They are all over the Rangers in the opening minutes and eventually Marian Gaborik draws a hooking penalty on Dan Girardi. Shots to start the third are 6-0 in favor of the Kings.

19:21, 3rd Period: Penalty Killed! Combined teams are now 0-for-5 on the power play with not a lot lot happening for either. No surprise, both teams have excelled at 5-on-5 this postseason.

19:30, 3rd Period: Lance Stephenson being a pal and helping Matt Greene with that there cut.

20:00, 3rd Period: The puck has dropped for the third!

Intermission: The second period was nowhere near at the same frenetic pace of the first but it was still very evenly played. Shots that period favored the Rangers 9-7, bringing the total to 22-21 in favor of New York in this one. Both Quick and Lundqvist have been good so far and are seeing a lot more than the shots on goal indicate. We're set up for a very entertaining third period (and possibly more) at this point, might want to stick around for this one.

0:00, 2nd Period: That's the end of two periods and now we're back to where we started the game, with a tie game at 2-2. The Rangers still have nearly 40 seconds of power-play time to go.

1:19, 2nd Period: POWER PLAY, Rangers! Mike Richards takes the offensive-zone penalty with a high stick to the face of Derrick Brassard. The Rangers could use this as a bit of a wakeup right now.

3:23, 2nd Period: So Matt Greene, how is Game 1 treating you?

5:02, 2nd Period: Kyle Clifford is having an eventful game. Carl Hagelin nearly goes off to the races again but Clifford makes a diving attempt from behind and he knockes the puck off Hagelin's stick in a desperate move before taking Hagelin down. Excellent play and hustle.

9:20, 2nd Period: Let's take this chance to show you that Doughty goal courtesy of SB Nation. Warning: it's gorgeous.

10:50, 2nd Period: Trevor Lewis springs free for a breakaway but he can't beat Lundqvist on the shot. There was some contact from the backchecking Rangers but no call is made.

11:15, 2nd Period: Penalty Killed! It's a relatively easy kill for the Rangers as the Kings do have zone time but don't get much out of it. Right after the penalty the Rangers nearly spring Brassard for a break out of the box.

13:15, 2nd Period: POWER PLAY, Kings! Derrick Brassard delivers a bad hit on Kings captain Dustin Brown along the boards to draw a two-minute penalty. Brown is still on the bench so looks to be OK but that could have been much worse.

13:24, 2nd Period: GOAL, KINGS! We have a tie game and what a goal it was. Drew Doughty makes up for his mistakes in the first period by making a terrific play in the Kings zone after taking the pass from Justin Williams. He skates all the way down to the net with a little help from Marian Gaborik to clear the front of the net and he beats Lundqvist in tight.

14:06, 2nd Period: Penalty Killed! The Rangers try and work around the back of the Kings net and they do generate a couple very good looks, one from Zuccarello and one from St. Louis, but can't hit the target on either. They had Quick out of position a couple of times.

16:06, 2nd Period: POWER PLAY, Rangers! Just after Drew Doughty got a good shot off on Henrik Lundqvist, his defensive partner Jake Muzzin simply wrestles Rick Nash to the ice to stop the transition game for the Rangers. You can't do that so he'll sit for two minutes.

20:00, 2nd Period: Game on!

Intermission: Rangers fans back in New York have packed Bryant Park for a viewing party. It sure looks like they enjoyed the first period.

Here is another awesome look at Bryant Park.

Intermission: The Rangers are flying all over the ice and it's really causing issues for the Kings thus far. Another contributing factor to LA being behind: Drew Doughty just had a rough 20 minutes of hockey, very uncharacteriscally rough. He was stripped of the puck on the Rangers' first goal and was just well below what we've come to expect of him. LA was sloppy but the goal at the end of the period was a massive boost going into the intermission. They have come back from deficits all postseason so don't think they're out of this, but the Rangers couldn't have possibly asked for a better start to this series.

0:00, 1st Period: What a start to the Stanley Cup Final that was. Shots after 20 minutes are 14-13 for LA, a very wide-open and entertaining game.

2:27, 1st Period: GOAL, KINGS! Los Angeles is never fazed by a 2-0 whole, they always seem to get back into games. After Darryl Sutter mixes up his lines and puts Kyle Clifford with Jeff Carter, the Kings get a goal as Carter's pass from behind the net goes to Clifford on the doorstep for the goal. A HUGE goal at this stage.

3:26, 1st Period: Penalty Killed! Woof! What a terrible, atrocious power play for Los Angeles. Not only did they give up a shorty but the Rangers actually outshot the Kings 3-0. Again, LA had the extra man.

4:57, 1st Period: GOAL, RANGERS! What a weird play. Carl Hagelin uses his speed to get an odd-man rush and gets a backhand shot off that Quick saves but it deflects off Slava Voynov and into the net. The Rangers' speed is really killing the Kings right now.

5:26, 1st Period: POWER PLAY, Kings. Mats Zuccarello is headed to the penalty box for a trip, giving the Kings a huge opportunity to get that goal back.

6:39, 1st Period: GOAL, RANGERS! Benoit Pouliot is able to poke the puck away from Drew Doughty and theyn fly in for a clean breakaway and he beats Jonathan Quick high to the blocker side. New York strikes first.

8:48, 1st Period: Penalty Killed. The Rangers have some initial possesion time but get next to nothing after that until the penalty expires and the hit the Kings with a flurry. Jonathan Quick is looking on top of his game tonight, which is anything but good news for the Rangers.

10:48, 1st Period: POWER PLAY, Rangers. Alec Martinez draws a hooking penalty in front of the LA net trying to slow down Carl Hagelin. The Rangers have to make some headway on special teams in this series.

13:24, 1st Period: The Rangers were on the Kings early but LA has turned the table and had the best chance of the game so far, a puck that just trickled wide of the net after Henrik Lundqvist got just enough. Shots are 7-3 for LA.

15:00, 1st Period: Finally, we have a whistle. Nothing like five minutes of uninterrupted action to open up the series. The Rangers' speed right now is giving the Kings some fits, though LA has more shots.

15:54, 1st Period: The game gets off to a pretty nervy start for the Kings as the Rangers get a few good chances, one that Jonathan Quick pokechecks away and another he saves on a Carl Hagelin shot. Exciting and fantastic opening minutes as we've now gone four minutes without a whistle.


Pregame, 8:22 ET: Wayne Gretzky has dropped the puck. It's time to play some hockey!

Pregame, 8:16 ET: The fancy pregame light shows are back in Los Angeles. We saw a lot of this in 2012 and it still looks just as awesome.

Pregame, 8:13 ET: Interesting approach from Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who will start his fourth line of Dominic Moore-Brian Boyle-Derek Dorsett against the Kings with Marc Staal and Anton Stralman on defense. The Kings are countering with their top line of Marian Gaborik-Anze Kopitar-Dustin Brown with Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin on defense. I have a feeling the line-matching in this series is going to be worth watching.

Pregame, 8 ET: The Gretzkys are in the house as the Great One is expected to drop the puck but not even Janet Gretzky can resist the urge to want a picture with Teemu Selanne (who is working broadcast coverage for Finnish TV). Seriously, nobody hates Teemu.

Pregame, 7:43 ET: Late-arriving crowd in LA (after all, it's just 4:43 local time) but the teams have hit the ice for warmups. Staples looking pretty fancy.

Pregame, 7:32 ET: There are going to be a good amount of Rangers fans in Staples Center but we're trying to figure out what exactly this guy is wearing ... and what he was thinking.

Pregame: The warmups are under way in LA ... the soccer warumps that is. A staple of hockey games, both the Rangers and Kings are kicking the ball around to get loose as puck drop is just a little more than an hour away.

The Kings' version is fancy with moving pictures. Ooooooh.



GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Henrik Lundqvist had his game-day face on at practice.

He still smiled and answered all the questions thrown at him Monday about the Los Angeles Kings -- the New York Rangers' long-awaited opponent in the Stanley Cup Final.

"Exciting. Long flight," the star goalie said Monday before he and his teammates headed to California for New York's first appearance in the finals since winning the title in 1994. "East Coast-West Coast. I'll look forward to this matchup."

If there wasn't already enough pressure on Lundqvist to lead his team to the championship, he is now part of the hype machine heading into Game 1 on Wednesday.

Headlines are screaming: "King Henrik vs. the Kings."

"Clever," he said with a slight laugh.

The Rangers have been waiting since Thursday to find out if they would face the 2012 Stanley Cup-winning Kings or the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the finals.

They took two days off before returning to practice on Sunday. Most of the players said they watched at least part of Los Angeles' third road Game 7 win of this playoff year that night.

So practice on Monday had a bit more focus for the Rangers as they knew exactly who was standing in their way next.

"Any team you play at this time of year is a good hockey team, especially a team that has kind of been around the playoffs and the Stanley Cup finals a couple of times in the last few years," forward Derek Stepan said. "This is a very good hockey club, We have a tough challenge in front of us."

The Kings returned to Los Angeles after their 5-4 come-from-behind overtime win at Chicago and took Monday off. They have played a record 21 playoff games before the finals -- one more than the Rangers, who eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in six games during the Eastern Conference finals.

Before this year, no team that played seven games in each of the first two rounds had reached the finals. Now, both clubs have done it. The Kings taking it a step further with a trio of seven-game series.

Odds and ends

Exact Result New York Rangers win 4-0: 14-1
New York Rangers win 4-1: 8-1
New York Rangers win 4-2: 5-1
New York Rangers win 4-3: 11-2
Los Angeles Kings win 4-0: 8-1
Los Angeles Kings win 4-1: 4-1
Los Angeles Kings win 4-2: 4-1
Los Angeles Kings win 4-3: 4/1

Number of Games 4: 11-2
5: 11-5
6: 9-5
7: 2-1

Where will the Series be Decided? In Los Angeles: -150 (2-3)
In New York: +120 (6-5)

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