Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Final Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
Los Angeles @ NY Rangers, Game 3, LA leads 2-0, 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, NBCSN, CBC, RDS
In the U.S., NBC will broadcast Games 1 and 2 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and, if necessary, Games 5-7. NBCSN will telecast Games 3 and 4. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the entire series. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder:http://nhl.com/channelfinder.
RANGERS, KINGS HEAD EAST FOR GAME 3 OF STANLEY CUP FINAL
The Rangers return home to face the Kings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden. Down 2-0 in the series, New York has won 15 of its last 23 home playoff games (dating to Game 7 of the 2012 CQF vs. OTT) as well as at least one home game in 14 consecutive series (dating to the 2007 CQF vs. ATL). Los Angeles, meanwhile, leads the NHL with seven road victories during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (7-5), but is 0-3 all-time at Madison Square Garden in the postseason.
* Including this year, home teams are 25-9 (.735) in the Stanley Cup Final dating to 2009.
* Forty-eight teams have taken a 2-0 series lead since the Stanley Cup Final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939. Of those clubs, 43 (89.9%) have gone on to claim the Stanley Cup, including the 2012 Kings in the most recent such occurrence.
* The all-time series record of home teams sweeping Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final is 32-3 (.914), but two of those losses have come in the last five years: the Red Wings won the first two games at home in 2009 before ultimately losing to the Penguins in seven games, while the Canucks won the opening two games at home in 2011 before eventually falling to the Bruins in seven contests.
* The only other time the home team has won the first two games of the Final but did not ultimately win the Stanley Cup was in 1971, when the Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead before losing to the Canadiens in seven games.
* Teams leading the Stanley Cup Final 3-0 have won the series 25-of-26 times (96.2%) since the NHL implemented the best-of-seven format in 1939. The only club to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup was the 1942 Maple Leafs (vs. DET).
* Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final have required overtime for an unprecedented third consecutive year (2012: LA-NJ, 2013: CHI-BOS).
* It has been 63 years since the opening three games of the Stanley Cup Final have gone to overtime. In 1951, all five games between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens were decided in extra time (TOR won series 4-1).
* The Kings are the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive playoff games they trailed by two goals. They overcame a 2-0 deficit at CHI in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final (5-4 OT win); a 2-0 deficit vs. NYR in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (3-2 OT win); and 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 deficits vs. NYR in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final (5-4 2OT win).
* The Kings are the first team to hold a 2-0 series advantage in the Stanley Cup Final after not leading in either of the first two games. The only other time that has happenedat any point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was in 1951, when the Canadiens defeated the Red Wings 3-2 in 4OT and 1-0 in 3OT in Games 1 and 2, respectively, of the Semifinals (and ultimately won the series 4-2).
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Kings are just the third team in Stanley Cup Final history to win consecutive games in which they trailed by at least two goals. The others: the 1950 Red Wings (Games 6 and 7 vs. NYR; won series in seven games) and the 1987 Flyers (Games 5 and 6 vs. EDM; lost series in seven games).
* The Kings have not led in their past 229:15 of playing time, a span covering four games (3-1). Their most recent lead ended when the Blackhawks tied the score at 11:34 of the third period in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.
* The winning team has led for fewer than 60 seconds in five of the last eight Stanley Cup Final games:
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 2: Los Angeles led 0:00 (LA 5, NYR 4, 2OT)
2014 Stanley Cup Final, Game 1: Los Angeles led 0:00 (LA 3, NYR 2, OT)
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6: Chicago led 0:59 (CHI 3, BOS 2)
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 2: Boston led 0:00 (BOS 2, CHI 1, OT)
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 1: Chicago led 0:00 (CHI 4, BOS 3, 3OT)
* The Rangers have scored first in 15 of their 22 playoff games and are 10-5 in those contests.
* The Rangers have a +14 goal differential in the first period this postseason (25-11). Their 25 first-period goals lead all teams.
* Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh has 1-6—7 during a five-game assist/point streak. He is the first Rangers blueliner to post a five-game point streak in the playoffs since Sergei Zubov in 1995. McDonagh also is the first Rangers defenseman to record a five-game assist streak in the postseason since James Patrick in 1992.
* The Kings have scored three or more goals in eight consecutive games. They lead the NHL with 81 goals in the playoffs, an average of 3.52 per game (averaged 2.42 goals per game during the regular season).
* The Kings have a +15 goal differential in the third period and overtime this postseason (33-18). Their 29 third-period goals lead all teams.
* Kings forward Justin Williams has 2-6—8 during a four-game point streak, including three consecutive multi-point performances. He leads the NHL with seven multi-point games in the playoffs and also is tied for second in overall points with 8-15—23 in 23 outings, all career highs.
* Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is averaging 29:49 of ice time over the last three games. He led all players with a career-high 41:41 of action during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
* The Kings have played four overtime games in their last five outings, including three straight; the Rangers have contested four such games in their past six.
BECAUSE IT’S THE CUP
Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell tried to catch some extra sleep on the team’s cross-country flight to New York:
— Willie Mitchell (@Willie_Mitch33) June 8, 2014
TOP PROSPECTS AT STANLEY CUP FINAL
2014 NHL Draft top prospects Samuel Bennett, Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl and Michael Dal Colle are scheduled to attend today’s morning skates and media pre-game meal as well as Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Contact David Keon to schedule any interviews.
Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final averaged 6.4 million viewers on NBC, making it the most-watched Game 2 on record (since at least 1994). Viewership peaked in the final quarter-hour (11:30 – 11:45 p.m. ET) with 7.6 million viewers. NBC ranked No. 1 for the night among the four major networks in adults 18-49 (2.0) and all other key measures . . . Former NHL player and head coach Dan Bylsma will join NHL Network as a studio analyst for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final . . . The Lightning re-signed 2013-14 Calder Trophy finalist Ondrej Palat to a three-year contract . . . ICYMI: The Kings will host a watch party for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE. The game will be broadcast on a 22” x 40” outdoor LED screen . . . Check out what Rangers forwardDerek Dorsett and Kings forward Trevor Lewis had to say following Saturday’s double-overtime thriller . . . Singer Britney Spears; actors Hilary Duff (with husbandMike Comrie), Tobey Maguire, Kevin Connolly, Chris Pine, Chloë Grace Moretz,Will Arnett, Alyssa Milano, Dylan McDermott, Dermot Mulroney, Colin Hanks, Jay R. Ferguson, Retta and Michael Rosenbaum; TV host Jimmy Kimmel; musicianGene Simmons; director Jason Reitman; and sports broadcaster Erin Andrews were among the fans in attendance for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Source: NHL Media