LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Kings are three wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup for a second time in three years and veteran defenseman Matt Greene views this as a window of opportunity that simply has to be taken.
American Greene, 31, is one of six 30-somethings on the Kings’ active 23-man roster and he fully appreciates that many players in the National Hockey League never even get to compete in the championship series.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Drew Doughty, at 24 already one of the most inspirational players for the Los Angeles Kings, has proven himself to be the best two-way defenseman of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Beyond that, he has his sights firmly set on becoming one of the all-time best at his position and, according to Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, has another decade to keep trending in that direction.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault has urged his players to step up for Saturday’s Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals after goalie Henrik Lundqvist was one of the few bright spots in their series-opening loss.
Lundqvist made 40 saves and almost single-handedly kept his team in Wednesday’s Game One after they failed to build on a strong start against the Los Angeles Kings, jumping to a 2-0 lead before falling 3-2 in overtime.
(Reuters) – Pinehurst’s fabled No. 2 Course in North Carolina, widely regarded as Donald Ross’s masterpiece design, will host the U.S. Open for the third time next week, 15 years after the major championship was first played there.
Opened as an 18-hole layout in 1907, the course was fine-tuned by Scotland-born Ross several times until 1946. Rees Jones made further renovations ahead of the 1999 U.S. Open and the bunkering was modified in 2004, ahead of the 2005 Open.
(Reuters) – Justin Rose will be bidding next week to become the U.S. Open’s first back-to-back winner in 25 years and he knows meticulous tournament preparation will give him the best chance of success at Pinehurst in North Carolina.
Twelve months ago, Rose produced remarkable poise and a Ben Hogan-like finish at Merion to claim his first major title by two shots, and he plans to replicate the careful strategy that worked so well for him that week on Pinehurst’s No. 2 Course.
(Reuters) – Of all the storylines swirling ahead of next week’s U.S. Open, where Tiger Woods is a notable absentee as he recovers from back surgery, none is more compelling than Phil Mickelson’s bid to win the tournament for the first time.
Mickelson has been a runner-up at the U.S. Open a record six times, most recently last year when he finished two shots behind England’s Justin Rose at Merion, and he is yearning for the chance to complete a career grand slam of the four majors.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The ever-resilient Los Angeles Kings rallied from two goals down to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime in an action-packed Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals at Staples Center on Wednesday.
Right wing Justin Williams scored the game-winning goal with a snap shot, on an assist from Mike Richards, almost five minutes into the extra period as Los Angeles struck the first blow in the best-of-seven series.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Recent acquisition Marian Gaborik has played a big role in helping the Los Angeles Kings reach the Stanley Cup Finals and his team mate, center Anze Kopitar, is delighted by the chemistry the duo already share.
Slovak right wing Gaborik, picked up by the Kings from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline three months ago, has scored a team-high 12 goals for Los Angeles during the playoffs while Kopitar heads the points standings with 24.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – New York Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo will be eligible to play in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals after the National Hockey League reduced his original 10-game ban to six on Tuesday.
Carcillo was suspended last month for physically abusing an official during a playoff game but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman decided to reduce the penalty after holding a hearing with the player in New York on Friday.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Martin St. Louis has been a goal-scoring inspiration for the New York Rangers since he joined them three months ago but he knows as well as anyone how tough a challenge they face heading into the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Rangers will meet the Los Angeles Kings in a best-of-seven series starting on Wednesday, and their opponents are widely regarded as favorites after ousting the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals.