Today’s topics, before we roll on over the Staples Center for some pre-Game 2 activities (AV speaking around 2:30 pm PT): Experience, and rallies.
The Kings are loaded with the former, having won the Stanley Cup in six games against the Devils two years ago.
Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, 10 years ago, and Dan Carcillo are the Rangers to have played in a Cup Final before this week.
The rest of the Rangers got a wakeup call on Wednesday in Game 1, and know they will need a standout effort in Game 2 to keep this series, which continues with Game 3 and 4 next week at Madison Square Garden, close.
But the Rangers have rallied after a loss five times in the first three rounds this spring, and have only lost two in a row once—against the Penguins.
The Kings certainly have a reason to hunger for a Game 2 victory.
Teams winning Game 2 of the Final have captured the championship eight of the last 11 times.
But deuces have not been wild in playoff series for the Rangers.
In recent years, winning Game 2 has not been easy. In 2013, the Blueshirts lost in Washington and Boston; in 2012, they lost all three at home, to Ottawa, Washington and New Jersey. In 2011, they fell in Washington, 2-0. In 2009, they did win in Washington, 1-0.
This year, they are 1-2 in Game 2s in the three previous series, beating Montreal, but losing to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, for a 2-8 record in recent years.
After those eight Game 2s losses, the Rangers have gone on to take five of those series.
But when the Rangers fall behind 2-0 in a series, they have won just once in the last five playoff series, dating back to 2007.
There are no morning skates today, with a 4:25 p.m. start here in L.A., but the two lineups should have just minor tweaks, with D John Moore in for Raphael Diaz and D Robyn Regehr in for Matt Greene.
And of course, hit newsday.com/sports/hockey for a (Seattle) slew of stories on Game 2 from yours truly and my astute colleagues out West and live coverage of the Belmont Stakes back home....