Jun 11, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) swats the puck from off the goal line behind goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the third period in game four of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup Final Game Five Preview

The Los Angeles Kings will host the New York Rangers tonight in game 5 of their Stanley Cup Final series. The Rangers will yet again have to fight to play another game as they enter the game down in the series 1-3 while the Kings will take another shot at grabbing that final win needed to win the Stanley Cup.

The Kings had the chance to sweep the Rangers in game 4 but came up just short losing to the Rangers 2-1. There is nothing more literal than the Kings coming up just short, being they had two shots that came to a dead stop on the Rangers’ goal line. One of those shots Jeff Carter had a chance to bang it home but swiped over the puck, the second squeaked through Henrik Lundqvist‘s pads before getting swept away by Derek Stepan.

It is a game of inches.

Lundqvist was stellar for the Rangers in a must win game. He turned away 40-shots, 15 of those shots coming in the third period where the Rangers were outshot 15-1.

If the Kings want to hoist the Stanley Cup tonight on home ice they shouldn’t really change much from game 4. They heavily outshot the Rangers with a 41-19 total count and made several strong pushes that Lundqvist made big saves on. It all boils down to if two small snow piles were not there the Kings would be Stanley Cup Champions right now.

There was a trio of Kings forwards who had a several quality chances during game 4 but were unable to get a puck past Lundqvist. Carter, Tanner Pearson and Marian Gaborik accounted for 14 of the Kings shots. Carter just missed on a breakaway, Gaborik hit the crossbar on a shot and Pearson got several fast breaks thanks to his speed. Watch for one of these three players to carry over their success from game 4 and make a big impact tonight.

Will tonight’s game be the last game of the season or will we be headed back to New York for game 6?

Puck drop is scheduled for 5 p.m. local time.

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