NEW YORK (AP) — Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings are finishing off the New York Rangers in a big hurry.
The Connecticut native, who grew up a fan of the Rangers and 1994 Stanley Cup-winning goalie Mike Richter, had his best game of the finals by far. He made 32 saves and put the Kings on the cusp of another coronation with a 3-0 victory over New York in Game 3 on Monday night.
Los Angeles escaped with two overtime wins at home and then took complete command inside Madison Square Garden to take a 3-0 series edge.
The Kings took their first lead of the series on Jeff Carter’s goal in the final second of the first period and then stretched the edge to three goals in the second — something the Rangers failed to do in California.
New York is facing elimination Wednesday night in Game 4.
While there has been only one comeback from a 3-0 hole in the finals, the Kings erased such a deficit in the first round against San Jose.
Defenseman Jake Muzzin scored a power-play goal in the second period, and Mike Richards pushed the lead to three with a goal off a 2-on-1 in the middle frame.
Henrik Lundqvist was hardly at fault on the goals, and finished with 12 saves.
But Quick was perfect.
He made a brilliant save with his stick blade to deny Derick Brassard with 8:40 left in the second shortly after a Rangers power play. That stop came on the heels of Brassard having two chances during the advantage off a rebound of Brad Richards’ shot. Brassard’s first attempt was blocked, and the second was stopped by Quick.
The Kings goalie was also on his toes just 8 seconds into the third period when Chris Kreider came in alone but was stopped in tight.
That eliminated the little hope the sold-out, towel-waving crowd had of a big comeback.
Los Angeles took its first in-game lead in the series when Carter scored with 10th of the playoffs on Los Angeles’ fifth shot. Carter came in and snapped a hard drive that clipped the skate of diving defenseman Dan Girardi in front of Lundqvist and caromed inside the right post with 0.7 seconds on the clock.
The red and green lights behind Lundqvist both flashed at the same time while the Kings celebrated. At no point did Los Angeles hold the lead at home in the first two games until they ended each contest with an overtime goal.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)