Stanley Cup Game 2 Preview: Adjustments and Changes

LAK V. NYR GM 2 (NHL.COM)

LAK V. NYR GM 2 (NHL.COM)

Game 2 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals is set for 7PM ET tonight! NBC will be broadcasting the game before it shifts back to NBCSN for games 3 & 4. 

Let’s look take a quick look at both team’s game plans.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Rick Nash fires one into the zone (NHL)

Rick Nash fires one into the zone (NHL)

Strategy: Alain Vigneault said it best when he called for an “A” effort from every player. Tonight’s mission will be to play the way they did in the 1st period of game one for 60 minutes. For NY, they can’t match the size of the Kings, so they will have to be the speed demons of this game in order to win. You can’t hit, what you can’t catch.

Adjustments: The Kings turned the game around during the second by closing the gaps in the neutral zone. NY will need to employ a mix of dump and chase hockey with A-level efforts to win puck battles in the cycle. They can also deploy a chip and chase strategy from their defensive zone into the neutral zone, to let their speedsters burn the defense.

Changes: No update on Cam Talbot, who we learned was injured in game 6 warmups will be able to back up the King. However, John Moore will return to the lineup in place of Raphael Diaz after serving his 2 game suspension. The move will restore the top 6 defensive unit for NY and improve their breakouts, speed and power play.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Drew Doughty celebrates with the fans (NHL)

Drew Doughty celebrates with the fans (NHL)

Strategy: Although the media believes this series is over, Darryl Sutter is much smarter than that. His Kings must pick up where they left off and continue to limit the Rangers speed through the neutral zone. More importantly, LA needs to generate more traffic in front of Lundqvist, if they hope to score more than 2 goals in regulation.

Adjustments: LA will try and negate the relentless forecheck of the Rangers by bringing in a forward down low to ease pressure on the defense. The Kings will look to make shorter and higher percentage passes to break out of their own end.

Changes: Robyn Regher will be making his Cup debut tonight after missing a month of action. Who sits? Some have suggested Slava Voynov may be the likely candidate because of his struggles. We will see, but how will the veteran Regher hold up after missing so much time? Expect the Rangers to attack his side and see if he is in game shape.

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