Rangers blow 2-goal lead to lose in 2nd overtime

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Rangers blow 2-goal lead to lose in 2nd overtime

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Rangers 5-4 after second overtime on Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven NHL Stanley Cup series.

Kings captain Dustin Brown redirected Willie Mitchell’s shot 10:26 into the second added period to complete another rally from a two-goal deficit, just as they did in the opening game of the series.

The hosts traded scoring chances with New York before Mitchell teed up a long shot. Brown deflected it under Henrik Lundqvist’s glove arm, ending the longest finals game in Rangers history and nearly the longest playoff game in Kings history.

“We’ve been digging ourselves holes here, but our resiliency - we dig deep,” said Mitchell, who also scored his first playoff goal in more than two years.

Lundqvist made 39 saves for New York, and Jonathan Quick had 34 for Los Angeles.

Game 3 is Monday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Jarret Stoll and Dwight King also scored for the Kings while Marian Gaborik netted the tying goal with 12:24 left for Los Angeles, which made up for a mistake-filled performance with more comeback acumen. Quick made a handful of stellar overtime saves before his teammates finished it.

The comeback Kings rallied from a two-goal deficit for the fourth time in their past five games. They haven’t led during any of their past three games, going into overtime each night.

Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist apiece for the Rangers, who had three two-goal leads. Ryan McDonagh and Martin St. Louis also scored, but New York couldn’t finish another strong effort.

The Rangers are heading home in a big hole in their quest for their first Stanley Cup title in 20 years. But despite their propensity for blowing leads, they’ve also proven this series won’t be a walkover for the experienced Kings.

After falling agonizingly short of an opening victory, New York played its smart, counterattacking style to great effect in Game 2, only to fall victim to another momentum-draining comeback.

The Kings fell behind 2-0 in the first period for the second straight game, and they trailed 4-2 entering the third period before Dwight King got the comeback rolling when Matt Greene’s slap shot hit him and went in while King fell on top of Lundqvist.

McDonagh then gave the puck to Gaborik in front, and the Kings’ late-season acquisition beat Lundqvist for his 13th goal of a phenomenal postseason.

Neither team played cautiously in overtime, trading good scoring chances and three fruitless power plays in the first extra period. King nearly ended it with a short-handed one-timer, and Chris Kreider failed to score on a breakaway.

AP
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