By Matt McCoy
If you missed game four of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night you missed two incredible plays that define the term "game of inches."
The New York Rangers stayed alive--but just barely. They avoided the four game sweep with a 2-1 win when the L.A. Kings, twice, had the puck slide past Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist but stop just short of crossing the goal line. Lundqvist was outstanding, making 40 saves, but admitted after the game that "puck luck" was on his side.
The first bit of good fortune for Lundqvist came in the first period with New York leading 1-0. On the power play, the Kings Alec Martinez' shot got between Lundqvist's legs and slid to the goal line. Former Jacket and Kings forward Jeff Carter tried to poke it in, but missed as another former Jacket, New York's Anton Stralman was finally able to reach in and knock the puck away.
The second came during a wild scramble with 1:11 left when L.A's Tanner Pearson's shot was slowed by Lundqvist but trickled between the goalies legs and got hung up on a build up of ice right in front of the goal line. The puck sat there briefly before Rangers forward Derek Stephan was able to reach in with his hand and knock it away.
It's highly doubtful that the Rangers will come all the way back to win the Cup, but if they do, this game four puck luck will clearly be the turning point.