Three storylines for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers on Hockey Night in Canada from the Staples Center on Saturday evening (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 6:30 p.m. ET). The Kings lead the series, 1-0.
Los Angeles overcame a two-goal deficit to win the opener at home 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday. After the Saturday night's game the two teams head to Manhattan for Games 3 and 4 at Madison Square Garden on Monday and Wednesday.
1. Which team will benefit from the two-day break between games?
Considering the Kings have played 22 intense playoff games in 49 nights, including three Game 7s, they needed the break more than the Rangers. New York has had five full days off before the championship series curtain-raiser. The Kings had only two days of rest before they were back at it. On top of that, the Rangers had to sit through two days of self-examination of how they blew a 2-0 lead in the opener.
Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault, however, doesn't believe his club is at a disadvantage with the two-day break.
"It's the same for both teams," he said. "I don't see an advantage in it.
"I mean, the schedule is what it is. At this time they said two days in between games. So we took yesterday off. Guys got away from the game a little bit. [On Friday] we had a good practice. We had a good meeting before. We're going to be ready."
2. How important is a victory in Game 2 of in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs?
It's 50-50. In the 14 previous series, seven teams have gone on to win the series. Even of the eight series this spring, in which a team has snatched a 2-0 series lead, five teams have been able to close the deal.
"I don't think it's smart to start thinking we don't want to do something or what if we're down 2-0," Rangers centre Brad Richards said. "That's not how you want to have your mindset going into a game.
"We feel we win a game, we're back tied 1-1. But it's still to four. Definitely you don't want to have that in your mind going into a game. Just win a game, that's the mindset right now."
3. Will there be any lineup changes for the Rangers or Kings on Saturday?
Both teams may make alterations to their blue-line because of availability.
For the Rangers, John Moore is eligible to return after his two-game suspension from his hit on Montreal's Dale Weise in Game 5 of the East final. Look for Moore to be reinserted into the lineup alongside Kevin Klein, and that means Raphael Diaz will sit.
On the Kings side, head coach Darryl Sutter revealed that veteran Robyn Regehr has recovered from his undisclosed injury and "probably play."
Projected lineup for Los Angeles
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Marian Gaborik
Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford - Mike Richards - Trevor Lewis
Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez - Robyn Regehr
Willie Mitchell - Slave Voynov
Projected lineup for New York
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash
Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Derek Dorsett
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stalman
John Moore - Kevin Klein
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