Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Final Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL.
(Home Team in Caps)
LOS ANGELES 3, NY Rangers 2 (OT) – LA leads series 1-0
WILLIAMS LIFTS KINGS IN OVERTIME OF GAME 1 OF STANLEY CUP FINAL
Justin Williams (1-1—2) scored at 4:36 of overtime to help the Kings rally from an early 2-0 deficit and defeat the Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
* The game marked the 14th multi-goal comeback victory of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, setting a single-year NHL postseason record.
* The Kings now have erased 2-0 deficits in three of their last five wins: also in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at CHI (6-2) and in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at CHI (5-4 OT).
* This marks the second consecutive year that a team has rallied from a two-goal deficit to win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. In 2013, the Blackhawks overcame a 2-0 deficit en route to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins (in 3OT).
* Prior to 2013, Elias says there only were two such instances of a team overcoming a multi-goal deficit to win Game 1 in the previous 35 Stanley Cup Finals (1977-2012): in 1992, when the Penguins beat the Blackhawks (5-4), and in 2006, when the Hurricanes rallied from a three-goal hole to defeat the Oilers (5-4). In 2006, Williams also posted 1-1—2 to lead the Hurricanes to a Game 1 victory and, ultimately, the Stanley Cup.
* Williams recorded his sixth career playoff game-winning goal and first in overtime. He now has 1-3—4 in 30 career postseason overtime games.
* Williams, who also assisted on Drew Doughty’s game-tying goal, posted his second consecutive and League-leading sixth multi-point game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He registered 1-1—2, including the primary assist on Alec Martinez’s overtime winner, in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at CHI.
* With 8-12—20 in 22 games, Williams has set career highs in goals, assists and points this postseason, surpassing his previous bests established in 2006 with the Hurricanes (7-11—18 in 25 GP). He also now is tied for third in the League in points (with Patrick Kane: 8-12—20).
* Doughty tallied a highlight-reel goal to even the game early in the second period. He now has 5-12—17 this postseason (22 GP), establishing a Kings record for points by a defenseman in one playoff year. Doughty also held the previous mark, totaling 4-12—16 in 20 games during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2012.
* Kyle Clifford registered 1-1—2, scoring his fourth career postseason goal and first since April 23, 2011 at SJ (37-game playoff drought).
* Jeff Carter collected an assist on Clifford’s goal and now has at least one point in eight of the team’s past nine games (6-8—14). He has set career highs in every offensive category this postseason (9-14—23), ranking second in the League in scoring to teammate Anze Kopitar (5-19—24).
* The Kings improved to 15-5 in their last 20 home playoff games dating to June 11, 2012.
* This marks the fifth consecutive year the Stanley Cup Final has featured at least one overtime game. It’s also the third straight year Game 1 has gone to overtime – the winner of the past two such contests has gone on to claim the Stanley Cup.
* This marks just the seventh win by a home team in the last 27 overtime games played in the Stanley Cup Final (dating to 1990).
* There now have been 24 total overtime games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (out of 89 contests, 27.0%). Home teams recorded their 10th victory in those games (10-14, .417).
* Fourteen of the 15 series in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs now have featured at least one overtime game. Last year, each of the 15 total series had at least one overtime game, the first time that has happened since all four rounds went to the best-of-seven format in 1987.
* The Kings recorded their first playoff overtime victory at home since Game 6 of the 2001 Western Conference Semifinals vs. COL (2OT).
* The Kings improved to 3-2 in overtime games this postseason. The Rangers fell to 2-2.
GAME 1 POSTS STRONG OVERNIGHT ON NBC
* Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final posted a 3.8 overnight rating on NBC, making it the network’s second-best Stanley Cup Final Game 1 overnight ever.
* The 3.8 overnight rating is up 58% compared to Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, which also featured the Kings (at NJ: 2.4).
* New York delivered its best NHL rating ever on NBC/NBCSN with a 10.1, surpassing last week’s 8.5 for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final vs. MTL on NBCSN.
* Los Angeles drew a 7.1, the market’s third-best rating ever on NBC, trailing only Games 5-6 of the 2012 Final (when the Kings could clinch the Stanley Cup).
* The top five markets for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final – New York: 10.1, Buffalo: 8.5, Los Angeles: 7.1, Boston: 6.8 and Providence: 5.4.
* Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final also topped Nielsen’s daily Twitter TV ratings:
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Is there no end to the Kings’ resilience, no situation too dire for them to wiggle out of, even if they skate off with the hair at the ends of their lengthy playoff beards singed from the flames they just escaped?” – Helene Elliott (Los Angeles Times)
“If the Kings and the Rangers give us five or six more games like this one, we’re going to be talking about hockey season well into football season, because that’s how terrific this opener was, how exciting, how bite-your-nails-and-shut-your-eyes intense it was.” – Mike Vaccaro (New York Post)
“Nothing seemed bigger than the goal and assist Williams produced in Game 7 of the Kings’ overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, which propelled them into the Stanley Cup Final. Nothing, that is, until his deft touch on the game-winner against the Rangers.” – Elliott Teaford (Los Angeles Daily News)
“The opening game of the Stanley Cup final was a victory for those who love hockey filled with speed, excitement, mistakes and entertainment.” – Damien Cox (Toronto Star)
“What’s not to love about this? A New York-L.A. series was bound to have drama.” – Jill Painter (Los Angeles Daily News)
“The last minute of regulation featured a wild, up-and-down-the-ice sequence that left both players and fans breathless.” – Jeff Z. Klein (New York Times)
“The final minute of regulation was not for the faint of heart, an end-to-end flurry of daring shots and magnificent saves that fulfilled everything we thought this Stanley Cup matchup could be.” – Tara Sullivan (Bergen Record)
“Turns out Williams is pretty good in Game 1s, too.” – Bruce Arthur (Toronto Star)
“The nickname is inaccurate. Justin Williams isn’t Mr. Game 7. He’s the Drama King.” –Rich Hammond (Orange County Register)
“I’d like to call him Mr. Game 1, 2, 3 and 4. It takes four wins, so if he can do that three more times, that would be real nice.” – Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell
“I’ve said this many times. Justin is the most underrated player on our team by a mile. He doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. There are two guys on this team that I want to give the puck to, and that’s him and Kopy. When they have the puck, plays happen.” – Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
“Game 1 will allow us to draw some conclusions about the series, such as the fact that goaltending will be as critical as we expected it to and both goalies seem to be at the top of their game.” – Kevin Allen (USA Today)
CELEBRITIES SHOW SUPPORT
— anne burrell (@chefanneburrell) June 5, 2014
— Kate Bosworth (@katebosworth) June 5, 2014
Nuts in here. I love it. #kings goal. It’s loud. Haha. But heavenly
— Billy Bush (@billybush) June 5, 2014
After all the Game 7 dramas in the @NHL playoffs, a Game 1 is almost relaxing.
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) June 5, 2014
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves, marking his second 40-plus save performance of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the fifth of his postseason career . . . The Kings outshot the Rangers 20-3 in the third period. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, their +17 shot differential was the largest in any Stanley Cup Final period since NHL expansion in 1967-68 . . . The Kings held the Rangers without a shot for the first 11:43 of the third period, posting a 14-0 shots advantage in that span . . . Rangers forward Carl Hagelin scored his second shorthanded goal of the playoffs (also Game 4 of CF vs. MTL). The last Rangers player to record multiple shorthanded goals in one postseason: Mark Messier in 1992 (2) . . . Before Hagelin, the last Rangers player to post a shorthanded goal in the Stanley Cup Final was Glenn Anderson in Game 2 of the 1994 series vs. VAN . . . Rangers forward Benoit Pouliot opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the playoffs; he had one goal in 29 career postseason outings prior to 2014 . . . The Kings have recorded at least one goal in 17 of their last 20 regulation periods dating to Game 2 of the Western Conference Final . . . It was announced thatKevin Allen will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism and Pat Foley will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster . . . ICYMI: NHL legend, and former King and Ranger, Wayne Gretzky dropped the ceremonial opening puck for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final . . . Actress Alyssa Milano discussed her love of the Kings on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” . . . Thousands of fans packed Bryant Park in New York City to watch Game 1 (photo courtesy of @misterdevore).
NEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
NY Rangers @ Los Angeles, Game 2, 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT, NBC, 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.
Source: NHL Media