LOS ANGELES – Dustin Brown scored at 10:26 of double overtime as the Los Angeles Kings won Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, 5-4, to take a 2-0 series lead over the New York Rangers.
Brown circled around in front of the Rangers goal as Willie Mitchell fired the puck from the point. Brown managed to get his stick on the puck and deflect it past Henrik Lundqvist (40 saves). It was Brown’s fifth goal of the playoffs.
It was a chaotic game. Leads grew and shrank. Heroes one moment were liabilities on their next shift. Two of the best goalies in the world saw more rubber fly past them than if they were watching the Daytona 500.
The Rangers had two-goal leads on three different occasions: In the first period at 2-0, in the second at 3-1 and then again at 4-2. Each time, the Kings would rally, showing the combination of resiliency and self-inflicted miscues that forced LA to win three Game 7s on the road.
The Kings have rallied from deficits of two or more goals in three straight games and four of their last five playoff games.
The Rangers broke through first after a turnover by Justin Williams in the defensive zone. The Kings forward attempted to move the puck up the boards but had it intercepted by Dominic Moore, who passed it back to defenseman Ryan McDonagh. His blast from the point sailed through a Derek Dorsett screen for the 1-0 lead at 10:28.
It was 2-0 after another Kings turnover. Defenseman Matt Greene flubbed the puck at the blue line of the offensive zone, sending speedy Mats Zuccarello off to the races. The Ranges briefly cycled in the zone before the puck found its way to McDonagh again. His blast hit Zuccarello in front before he tapped it past Quick at 18:46.
The Kings cut the lead early in the second period on a wild sequence that had Henrik Lundqvist abandoning his net. Brad Richards turned the puck over on a baffling pass that was gobbled up by Dwight King. He found Justin Williams for a quick chance that Lundqvist moved up to save. But Williams' leg got caught up with Lundqvist’s pad, dragging the goalie away from the net. That left defenseman Kevin Klein attempting to play goal against Jarret Stoll, whose shot slid under Klein’s stick to cut the lead to 2-1 at 1:46.
But the Rangers didn’t allow the Kings to get that second goal. Instead, after a bench minor for too many men on the ice, the Rangers power play struck.
McDonagh sent a long pass to Chris Kreider. The Rangers forward sent a quick pass to Derek Stepan in transition, who had a 2-on-1 down low with Marty St. Louis. His pass might have handcuffed a different winger, but not St. Louis, whose snipe beat a lunging Quick to make it 3-1. It was his 40th career power-play goal, at 11:24.
The Kings cut the lead again at 14:39 on the power play, with Mats Zuccarello in the box for tripping, as Willie Mitchell’s blast from the point sailed past a Dwight King screen and past Lundqvist.
But just 11 seconds later, the roles would reverse for Zuccarello and Mitchell.
Off the opening faceoff, the puck traveled behind the Kings’ net. Quick attempted to play it but it skipped off his blade. Mitchell then attempted to play it and couldn’t, as Mats Zuccarello pressured him and converted the turnover into a goal for Derick Brassard, his sixth of the playoffs.
Then it was time for the Kings to respond to kick off the third period, thanks to a collision between Dwight King and Lundqvist:
McDonagh and King battled in the Rangers’ crease as the puck cycled around the zone. Matt Greene – abjectly terrible on nearly every other shift in Game 2 – fired the puck from the top of the zone. McDonagh shoved King onto Lundqvist as the puck deflected off of him into the net to cut the lead to 4-3 at 1:58.
McDonagh wore the goat horns again minutes later when the Kings tied the game.
The Rangers defenseman turned the puck over deep in his own zone – attempting to skate it out, he skated into teammate Stepan wrestling with a Kings player instead – resulting in Marian Gaborik’s shot into a gaping net. His 13th goal of the playoffs knotted it at 4-4 at 7:36.
The overtime was tightly played, featuring some close calls -- Chris Kreider's shot that rang off the left post if Quick's cage, Dwight King's one-timer ripped wide of the Rangers' net and Kreider missing on a breakaway.
Quick finished the game with 34 saves.
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