The hockey gods New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has referenced throughout the Stanley Cup Final made their presence felt at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. Specifically, they seemed to spend most of their time on his team’s goal line, where two potential Kings goals were spectacularly denied in the Rangers’ 2-1 win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Given their first opportunity to dwell on poor “puck luck,” the Kings weren’t wallowing after their practice on Thursday.
“Puck luck is for cop-outs,” Kings right wing Justin Williams said. “I don’t believe in that at all. I’m a true believer that you get what you put into it and (Wednesday) night we simply weren’t good enough and we didn’t get the pay-off.”
Once in the first period of Game 4 and again with a little more than a minute to play in the game, two Kings shots came to a halt behind Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist without crossing the goal line. Each would have tied the game.
The play on which the Kings scored their lone goal didn’t exactly begin in conventional fashion, something Vigneault was quick to point out upon being informed of Williams’ comments about puck luck. Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi’s stick broke, setting up Dustin Brown’s breakaway goal that pulled the Kings within a goal in the second period.
“Whether you call it hockey gods or hockey plays or whatever, like when Dan was shooting the puck from the point and the knob of his stick stays in his hand, you can call that a hockey play or you can call it whatever you want,” Vigneault said. “It doesn’t matter to me. Those are things that happen. Bounces happen during the game.”
It’s a big sports week in New York. Several reports indicate that former Laker Derek Fisher will be the new coach of the New York Knicks. The Knicks announced a press conference is scheduled for Tuesday and then Fisher will be doing an unofficial tour. One of his first stops will be Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to take in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Instagram photos with hashtag #GoKingsGo during the Stanley Cup Final: Refresh.
Marian Gaborik, the former King, on what the atmosphere will be like since he played in New York for four years.
“Their fans obviously will push them forward. It’s their first Final in 20 years,” Gaborik said. “They’re going to have a lot of push from their fans. We’re just going to try to take the crowd out of it and hopefully get a lead.”
That might be difficult, given that the Kings have fallen behind 2-0 in the first two games, never led in regulation then won Games 1 and 2 in overtime and double overtime, respectively.
It wasn’t live but the Kings showed the Belmont Stakes on the JumboTron before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Here’s a portion of the race and fans’ reaction as California Chrome tried to win the Triple Crown.
Though Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Friday Robyn Regehr would probably play in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, the defenseman was held out of his 15th consecutive game Saturday.
Regehr suffered an unspecified knee injury in Game 1 of the second-round series against the Ducks thanks to a hit from Teemu Selanne, but declared himself fit to play prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday.
“I feel ready,” Regehr said at the Kings’ morning skate on Wednesday. “It just comes down to a coach’s decision. I feel good. I’ve had a chance to practice a little bit and get a little bit of contact.”
Sutter explained that his reasoning for holding Regehr out of Game 1 was in part due to the odd Stanley Cup Final schedule allowing him two off-days to heal before Saturday’s Game 2. Turns out Regehr’s knee may be injured worse than originally thought given that he was scratched again for a game of such importance.
Live updates from Los Angeles News Group writers and photographers, and the L.A. Kings and N.Y. Rangers.
Here’s what Kings general manager Dean Lombardi had to say about the play of defenseman Brayden McNabb, acquired Wednesday from the Buffalo Sabres:
“He fills a huge hole for us down the road. He’s already paid his dues in the minors and had a couple of cups of coffee in the NHL. He’s closer to being ready than if I had to do a deal with a junior kid. He’s got size, he can move the puck and he has a long reach. He’s over-aggressive, which I like, but we can tame the lion.”
As expected, with the Olympic break over, the Kings recalled rookie goaltender Martin Jones from their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., and sent goalie J.F. Berube back to the minors. Jones, who is 8-4-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average, is expected to serve as Jonathan Quick’s backup for the rest of the season. The Kings return to the ice Wednesday to face the Colorado Avalanche. Berube has appeared in 34 games this season, all with Manchester.