Lundqvist is 'king' again; Richards on his poor play

Bruce Bennett

Today's New York Rangers notes.

Bad luck and superstitions be damned, the Rangers will take the Staples Center Ice, Friday the 13th, and attempt to once again extend their season. As many players pointed out on Thursday, this team hasn't struggled playing on the road in this series, and has yet to trail for a second on Los Angeles ice. They've also yet to win in the Kings arena, and for the Rangers to get a shot at Game 6 in Madison Square Garden, they'll have to change that on Friday night. Here are your morning notes.

Whether he was the victim of bad bounces, or downright bad, Henrik Lundqvist flipped the script in Game 4, and regained his throne. [SB Nation]

Brad Richards has not been very good in the postseason. It led to his demotion to the fourth line Wednesday night. [NY Post] [ESPN NY] [Ranger Rants] [Newsday]

A few other thoughts ahead of Game 5:

  • The Rangers won't be short on confidence Friday night. While the Kings should certainly be credited for their performance in Games 1 and 2, the Rangers know they had a hand in their own demise. It just comes down to playing with a lead.
  • Jonathan Quick was closer to his native Connecticut when the series shifted to Madison Square Garden, and he looked like a different goaltender. If he sustains that level back in Los Angeles, the Rangers need to do some of what they did in Game 4: throw bodies and traffic in front. But it's no given that Quick stands on his head again.
  • Which can also be said about Lundqvist. No one is expecting him to be near that .890 save percentage from the first three games, but if he doesn't play as well as he did on Wednesday, his teammates need to pick him up. Regardless, the Rangers will need to be better to extend the series.
  • It's going to be tough with the last change, but keeping Dan Girardi away from the Jeff Carter line is a huge matchup within the matchup. Girardi is clearly having trouble dealing with speed right now, and Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli can simply fly. Interested to see if Darryl Sutter tries to get that matchup instead of the Rangers' top defensemen drawing the Anze Kopitar line.
  • Carl Hagelin predicted Rick Nash will score Friday night. I agree with him.
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