Rarely have Norwegians been as interested in the NHL Stanley Cup as they are this year, and all because of the Norwegian star hockey player Mats ‘Zucca’ Zuccarello Aasen for the New York Rangers. Zuccarello’s team remained in contention for the Stanley Cup after a crucial win on Wednesday night, meaning the Norwegian media was still closely following the action.
The Rangers had lost three matches straight in the finals series against the Los Angeles Kings, but managed to keep their dream alive with 2-1 win on home ice at Madison Square Garden. “We play the worst match so far in the finals, but win,” Zuccarello told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “It’s wonderful.”
The Stanley Cup is decided by the best of seven matches. Not since 1942 has a team come back from being three games down to win the cup, when the Toronto Maple Leafs turned the series on the Detroit Red Wings. “Of course I have faith,” Zuccarello said. “It’s very nice to get that first victory. To manage that, we have to begin with one.”
Swedish keeper Henrik Lundqvist was the star of the match, making 40 saves to the one goal he conceded. Lundqvist had a match save percentage of 97.6. Zuccarello was unable to capitalize on his scoring opportunity for the night, but had several good assists during his 19 minutes on the ice.
Both Scandinavians were optimistic ahead of the fifth match on Friday night. “It’s not impossible,” said Lundqvist. “We’ve turned it around before.”
“It will be tough,” Zuccarello said. “They (the Kings) will want to determine the outcome as quickly as possible. But we’ll make it difficult for them. Anything can happen now.”