Hockey / Sports

Los Angeles Kings teammates celebrate a goal by defenseman Jake Muzzin, second from left, during the second period in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, June 9, 2014. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Kings puts Rangers on brink of elimination

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Flyers alumni helped propel the Los Angeles Kings one game away from a second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

With goals by former Flyers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, and an assist by yet another alumnus, Justin Williams, the Kings defeated the New York Rangers, 3-0, Monday night in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at Madison Square Garden.

Los Angeles has a commanding three-games-to-none lead and can clinch the Cup Wednesday night in New York.

The Kings barely beat the first-period clock to take a 1-0 lead. Williams attracted two Rangers defenders, then fed Carter at the right circle. Carter's shot deflected off the skate of sliding defenseman Dan Girardi and the left glove of Henrik Lundqvist to score with just 0.4 seconds left in the first period.

For Carter, it was his 10th goal of the playoffs, while Williams earned his 15th assist. Both have been major offensive forces. After winning the first two games in overtime, it was the Kings' first lead in this series.

Neither team looked fatigued despite Saturday's 5-4 double overtime win by the Kings in Los Angeles. There was end-to-end action to begin the game, with just three whistles in the first 10 minutes.

Near the midway point of the first period, Rangers winger Martin St. Louis, so dangerous in the first-round series win over the Flyers, passed from behind the net to Carl Hagelin, whose attempt to stuff it in was blocked by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

It would be one of many outstanding saves by Quick, a Connecticut native who was playing his first game at Madison Square Garden. He finished with 32 saves.

A few minutes later, Quick made an outstanding save, sliding and just getting his stick on a shot that Mats Zuccarello attempted to stuff in.

In the second period, moments after Lundqvist stopped a Carter redirection, the Rangers goalie wasn't as fortunate with the Kings on the power play. Defenseman Jake Muzzin, after receiving a fine pass from Anze Kopitar, scored with 15 minutes, 43 seconds left when his wrist shot from the point went through a crowd and into the net for his sixth goal this postseason.

Carter didn't receive a point on the play, but the screen he set in front of the net was huge for the Kings.

Quick then took over. First he stopped a Benoit Pouliot rebound attempt. Then on a Rangers power play, Quick turned back a blistering slap shot from Brad Richards and the rebound by Derick Brassard.

The Rangers kept applying pressure and Rick Nash couldn't handle the puck on a wraparound attempt after what turned out to be a wise hooking penalty from Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Had Nash kept control, it would have been a sure goal.

With 5:06 left it the second period, Lundqvist stopped Carter from the slot on a power play.

Richards made it 3-0 with 2:46 left in the second period. After making a pass on a two-on-one rush that bounced off Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, Richards collected the puck and fired it past Lundqvist for his third playoff goal.

Quick stopped Chris Kreider on a breakaway just seven seconds into the third period to continue his outstanding play.

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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