TWO: Kings-Rangers SCF Game 3 Preview

"hey henrik can I borrow your tinfoil hat?" - Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers (Madison Square Garden)

Time: 5:00 PM

TV: CBC, RDS, NBCSN

Enemy reading: Blueshirt Banter

Rangers (projected) lineup:

Kreider-Stepan-Nash
Hagelin-Richards-St. Louis
Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello
Boyle-D Moore-Dorsett

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Stralman
J Moore-Klein

Lundqvist

Scratched: JT Miller, Raphael Diaz, Jesper Fast, Ryan Haggerty, Oscar Lindberg, Justin Falk; Suspended for being an asshole: Dan Carcillo

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Brown
Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
King-Stoll-Williams
Clifford-Richards-Lewis

Muzzin-Doughty
????-Voynov
Mitchell-Martinez

Quick

Scratched: ???, Jeff Schultz, Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff, Patrik Bartosak, Derek Forbort, Colin Miller, Scott Sabourin, Nick Shore, Jordan Weal, Brayden McNabb, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Linden Vey, Andrew Campbell, Colin Fraser

Game notes:

  • Darryl Sutter, international man of mystery, is keeping quiet on whether Robyn Regehr will actually be back in the Kings' lineup tonight. After indicating that Regehr would be in on Saturday night, he apparently changed his mind and kept the lineup intact. Now he's refusing to commit one way or another, but let us hope that the specter of Regehr getting caught on a change, and then falling down helplessly as Carl Hagelin blows past him is enough to convince Sutter not to fiddle with something that is largely working.
  • I think I need to keep track, next season, of the proportion of times Jonathan Quick blows immediately after I write a preview praising him - because it feels like it's pretty much a hundred per cent. He wasn't to blame on all of them, but that certainly wasn't one of those "good" four-goal games where the defencemen are more to blame than the goalie. I watched the game with a friend who isn't much into hockey; after the fourth Rangers goal, all she said was, "well, that didn't seem very good." Pretty much, yeah.
  • Jeff Carter continued his tremendous play from game one, and his line was the most (visibly and statistically) effective one in game two, followed by the Stoll line. The Kopitar line, by contrast, struggled despite spending most of its time out against the Stepan line that it had been able to handle pretty well before. Dustin Brown especially had an outstandingly bad game prior to tipping the game-winning goal. I don't think he replicates that kind of terribleness tonight, but the Kings could get into big trouble if he does.
  • I remember two years ago during the Ottawa-New York playoff series when Henrik Lundqvist suggested there was some sort of shady conspiracy perpetuating a NHL desire to see the Senators win over the Rangers. This was hilarious, of course, because there is no known universe in which the NHL (a business, need I remind you) would want to make less money, as opposed to more money. Refereeing is mostly bullshit, and it's never going to be perfect because referees are sometimes stupid like all humans are sometimes stupid. There is no conspiracy. There is never any conspiracy. As a result, the breaks come and the breaks go - if you get a large enough sample size, as with anything rooted in random chance, it'll all come out even. Stop trying to reason with people who believe otherwise, because clearly they've got some stuff going on, and you should leave them be.
  • ~Fun With Numbers~ from Extra Skater.
  • Prediction: Kings. In. Four.
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