Jonathan Quick has Kings on verge of another crown | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaJonathan Quick has Kings on verge of another crown

Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 | 11:26 PM

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Jonathan Quick of Los Angeles follows up on a rebound after making a save in the second period of Madison Square Garden in Game 3 on Monday. (Kathy Willens/Associated Press) Jonathan Quick of Los Angeles follows up on a rebound after making a save in the second period of Madison Square Garden in Game 3 on Monday. (Kathy Willens/Associated Press)

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The New York Rangers had another difficult evening with their puck luck, but that shouldn't take away from a well-deserved 3-0 victory for goalie Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.

If you were pulling for Martin St. Louis and the New York Rangers to jump back into the Stanley Cup final on Monday evening you may have come down with a case of the what ifs.

  • What if, in the Rangers' 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden to fall behind 3-0 in the championship series, New York right wing Mats Zuccarello buried that chance from close range in the first period? Instead, his shot hit the post and then the stick of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and stayed out.
  • What if Los Angeles sniper Jeff Carter doesn't score a goal on a deflection off the left skate of sliding Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi after a brilliant setup from teammate Justin Williams with 0.8 seconds left on the score clock in the first period?
  • What if St. Louis doesn't try to block a shot off his left glove on the penalty kill? He slowed the puck enough to fool Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist for a 2-0 Kings lead early in the second period.
  • What if Quick doesn't make a remarkable diving stick save on New Yorker Derick Brassard a few shifts later on a power play?
  • What if snake-bitten Rangers forward Rick Nash (no goals in 11 games at MSG in the playoffs) kept his feet moving on a wraparound with that open net staring him in the face before he was hooked down by Kings defenceman Drew Doughty in the second period?
  • What if, on a 2-on-1 Kings rush late in the second period, Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh didn't successful block Mike Richards's pass to Los Angeles teammate Trevor Lewis? Well, McDonagh did block the pass, but it bounded back to Richards for an easy goal.

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Yes, the Kings did have plenty of puck luck on this night. The Rangers did not, even though they outshot Los Angeles 32-15. But as the old adage goes, you make your luck, and the Kings deserve full marks for the victory.

For the first time, they snatched a lead in a game and then watched Quick take over. After a couple of ordinary performances in Los Angeles, in which the Kings overcame 2-0 deficits twice to win in overtime, Quick was a difference-maker in Game 3.

He earned his ninth career shutout at a special place to him in front of a special person in his idol, former Rangers goalkeeper Mike Richter.

Richter was the last goalie to lead the Blueshirts to a Stanley Cup. That was 20 years ago. Quick, who grew up an hour away in Milford, Conn., was eight years old and over the moon when his hero Richter and thte 1993-94 Rangers ended a 54-year drought for the franchise with a championship celebrated in the streets of Manhattan.

But Quick even refused to crack a smile when asked about the victory with Richter in the building watching Game 3.

"It meant a lot to play well for my team," Quick told Hockey Night in Canada. "We play for each other. The fourth one is always the most difficult one to win and we'll get ready for that."

Quick and the Kings are one victory away from winning their second Stanley Cup in 24 months. If the Rangers can't shake off their latest loss, rebound and get their anemic power play to click (0-for-29 in the last nine home games), Kings head coach Darryl Sutter and Co. will have a sweep after three hard-fought seven-game series to get to the final.

The Kings certainly don't look like a tired hockey club after 24 playoff games and an extra 81 minutes and 20 seconds of overtime hockey. They instead look like a championship team, once again.

Even if you decide to play the what if game.

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