Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Drew Doughty netted the tying score at even strength for the Los Angeles Kings, who are tied at 2-2 with the New York Rangers after 40 minutes of play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Already down 2-1 and having surrendered a fluke short-handed score, the Kings had to endure an interference call to defenseman Jake Muzzin less than four minutes into the second.
On the following shift after the kill, Doughty atoned for an earlier mistake, drawing his club even at the 6:36 mark of the second period on a shot from the left circle which hit the net after going through the crook of Henrik Lundqvist's left arm.
Los Angeles failed to take the lead on a subsequent manpower advantage when Rangers forward Derick Brassard was sent off for boarding nine seconds after the score, and Trevor Lewis missed two point-blank chances to put his team ahead including one on a breakaway.
Jonathan Quick made two stops on a late New York advantage created when Mike Richards was booked for slashing with 1:19 left in the period to preserve the deadlock.
Quick was perfect on nine shots in the middle frame and has stopped 20 shots overall, while counterpart Lundqvist has halted 19-of-21 for the contest.
The Rangers showed in the opening shifts how much better rested they were than the Kings, zipping through the offensive zone with little resistance. However, the hosts had the best early chance as, just over five minutes in, Muzzin pushed a bouncing shot from the high slot just wide of the left post.
Quick had to move inside his crease to stop consecutive chances from the right side by Brad Richards and in front from Martin St. Louis near the midway point of the first.
Benoit Pouliot eventually put the visitors ahead with 6:39 remaining. He was aggressive on the forecheck as the puck floated back to Doughty near the point. Pouliot then pushed it ahead into the neutral zone, raced up the right wing alone and beat Quick with a hard wrister.
Quick stopped a prime chance from New York's Brian Boyle seconds into the initial Kings' power play as Mats Zuccarello committed a holding infraction, then Carl Hagelin barreled in for a shot which Quick turned aside. The rebound caromed off the skate of Slava Voynov and back over the goal line for a 2-0 Rangers' edge at 15:03.
Kyle Clifford finally jolted the partisan crowd awake when he charged the net at the left post and redirected a Jeff Carter centering feed home with 2:27 left before intermission.