If the Rangers are going to win their first Stanley Cup in 20 years they’ll have to do it from a 0-2 series hole.
Kings captain Dustin Brown redirected a slapshot by Willie Mitchell to give the Kings a 5-4 Game 2 win 10:26 into double overtime.
It was the second straight game the Kings dug themselves a 0-2 hole in the first period and second straight game they’ve won in overtime. It’s the third straight game the Kings have won in overtime, including Game 7 over Chicago in the Western Conference finals.
Game 3 is Monday night in New York at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
The Rangers got off to a great start just like they did in Game 1. Ryan McDonagh netted a slapshot at 10:48 in the first period to take the 1-0 lead. The goal extended his point streak to five straight games despite not being known as a particularly good scoring defenseman.
Mats Zuccarello gave the Rangers their second straight 2-0 lead in the first period at 18:46. He knocked in a point-blank rebound off a McDonagh slapshot which actually hit Zuccarello standing goalside.
Momentum favored New York after one period, but Jarret Stoll quickly got the Kings back within striking distance just 1:46 into the second on an assist from Justin Williams.
But unlike Game 1, the Rangers had answer early for the Kings’ attempts to get back in it. Martin St. Louis stretched it back out to a two-goal lead on a nice one-timer from his knees from Derek Stepan on the power play.
The Kings made it 3-2 on a power play goal of their own by Mitchell at 14:39. Zuccarello had taken a penalty for tripping Brown.
Before the Staples Center crowd could even finish celebrating, the Rangers won the center ice faceoff and Derick Brassard made it 4-2 after a scramble in front of the net 11 seconds later. The 11-second span was the quickest two goals have been scored in a Stanley Cup Final in 67 years.
But the third period was a disaster for the Rangers for the second straight game in the Stanley Cup Final. Dwight King made it 4-3 on a controversial goal which had Henrik Lundqvist slapping the ice and the Rangers bench yelling at the referee. King redirected a slapshot from Matt Greene just outside the crease, but Lundqvist felt he was interfered with by King. King and McDonagh were jostling in front of the net, before King fell on Lundqvist’s right side. The referee ruled no interference, though Lundqvist was angry enough to still speak with the referee minutes later for an entire timeout.
Former Rangers forward Mariano Gaborik tied it up at 4-4 7:36 into the third period when he collected a loose puck in front of the net and beat Lundqvist. It was the 13th goal of the playoffs by Gaborik, who was acquired from Columbus at the trade deadline.
Chris Kreider sent one off the left post with about 12 minutes left in the first overtime.
The Rangers went on the power play with 5:33 left in the first overtime after Jeff Carter was called for goalie interference on a scary moment for Lundqvist, who was slashed and then spun to the ice on a shoulder block by Carter. Lundqvist spent a moment down on the ice and was attended to by the trainer, before staying in.
Lundqvist finished with 39 saves on 44 shots. Jonathan Quick had 34 saves.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.