Teams taking a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final are 43-5 all time. The Kings stand in that position now as they come to Madison Square Garden.
But the Rangers need only look to their head coach to know all about squandering a two-game lead in the Stanley Cup Final. In 2011, Alain Vigneault’s Canucks did just that with a 2-0 series lead over the Bruins. Boston won Games 3 and 4 and eventually the series.
“You realize what’s at stake. [The] series isn’t over yet,” Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said after the Game 2 loss. “They’ve got a 2-0 lead, but we’re going home, we’re excited, we got to use our crowd here. They just won two at home so we’ve got to start with Game 3 and have a good approach there, and keep staying with it, keep believing and keep going forward.”
The Rangers squandered three two-goal leads in Game 2. They’ve now led for 50:03 in the series, while the Kings have not led once in regulation but have still picked up two overtime victories.
“We could be up 2-0 right now, but they’re up 2-0,” right wing Martin St. Louis said. “It hurts a little bit right now, but tomorrow you wake up and get back to work.”
“I think we’ve played close to nine periods now and for the most part I’ve liked a lot of things about our game,” Vigneault said. “Our guys are trying real hard and we’re going to continue to try. Both games we had opportunities and we didn’t get it done. We’re going home in font of our great fans and we’re going to be ready for the next game.”
New York will host Los Angeles in Game 3 on Monday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.