Justin Williams scored 4:36 into overtime after a turnover by Dan Girardi, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday night in the Stanley Cup finals opener.
Even though New York was the first to claim a spot in the finals, many have already written off the Blueshirts as severe underdogs against Los Angeles.
Throughout Game 1, Sidney Crosby had little space to operate as Staal, Stralman, McDonagh and Girardi smothered him at every turn.
To lift Lord Stanley’s Cup, there can be no passengers. It takes a full-on commitment from the entire team — and the Blueshirts had it going on Wednesday night.
Here’s what the Rangers must correct if they are to win Game 7 and advance to a second-round meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan both sick as a dog, the Rangers collectively embraced the challenge of finding a way to come back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to secure a vital, late-season victory over the hungry Coyotes.
Ryan McDonagh scored off a rebound of Dan Girardi’s shot 1:56 into overtime to complete the New York Rangers’ stunning rally in a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.
Kevin Klein is hoping that Callahan remains in New York, but understands why his former OHL teammate is playing hardball with the Rangers on a new contract.
At this point it’s about both sides making concessions. As the clock ticks toward Wednesday’s 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline, the Rangers and captain Ryan Callahan at least appear to be interested in working something out.
Girardi and the Rangers have agreed to a six-year contract extension. According to multiple reports, the deal will pay the defenseman $5.5 million per year.
“We’ll see what happens,” Girardi said. “We’ll be working here in the next few days, hopefully, and try to bang something out here, but in the meantime I’ll just be all business and go about my job.”
If Dan Girardi is to remain a member of the Rangers beyond the March 5 trade deadline both sides need to get cracking.
Long before the clock strikes 3 p.m. on NHL trade deadline day, Rangers fans will have to accept a harsh reality: Their organization values top-pairing defenseman Dan Girardi more than captain Ryan Callahan. And rightfully so.
Should Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi not back down from their “superstar deal” demands, they will not be wearing Rangers sweaters beyond March 5.
Make no mistake about it. The Rangers are a win-now team and Kevin Klein will provide the consistency that Michael Del Zotto clearly lacked.