New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault knows his team must win Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
“Tomorrow’s as close to a must-(win) game as I think we can have,” Vigneault said Sunday, via ESPNNewYork.com.
The Rangers are down 2-0 in the series.
“Until you face elimination, that’s as close as we can get. … There’s a lot of good things that we’re doing on the ice,” he said. “There’s a couple things that we need to clean up that we’re going to address tomorrow with our group. But for the most part, we’re given ourselves a real good chance, and that’s what we’re gonna try to do tomorrow.”
Only one team in NHL history has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win the Stanley Cup Final: the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings.
Vigneault thinks the series might be different if a couple of controversial calls would’ve went their way.
“I know they came back from a two-goal deficit again last night, but their third goal [when Los Angeles winger Dwight King might have interfered with New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on the play] you can look at it any way you want, but at the end of the day that shouldn’t have been a goal in my opinion,” Vigneault said. “They got three chances in the third if you count that one, and two of them went in and we were a little bit unlucky. We were playing really solid and sometimes stuff like that happens. I believe it’s going to even out, and I believe we’re going to win the next game.”
Vigneault later said: “And then … right before they scored the winning goal in double overtime, a lot of people seemed to think that we should’ve been on the power play. [Los Angeles defenseman Alec Martinez] flipped the puck out of the zone [and into the stands]. Instead of having a faceoff in the offensive zone, we should’ve had a faceoff going on the power play and we didn’t. Those are the things that happen in playoff hockey. Usually they even themselves out and that’s what we’re gonna hope moving forward.”