Kings Conquer Devils in OT

Published on May 31st, 2012

Kings Mike Richards battles for loose puck

by Mike del Tufo

Wednesday May 30, 2012
The Los Angeles Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in overtime in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.  It was an evenly fought contest where each team struggled offensively mainly due to strong defensive efforts by both as well as subpar ice conditions.

The Kings opened the scoring at 9:58 of the 1st period when Colin Fraser converted a pass from Jordan Nolan who was behind the net.  Nolan, a rookie, had one of the better games of a forward on either squad.  It was a fairly uneventful period as both teams struggled to get the puck on net.  Each had 5 shots on goal.  The Kings dominated in the face-off circle winning 71% of them and led 1-0.

The Devils struggled in the 2nd period only registering 4 shots but they were able to get a fluky goal at 18:48 to tie it.  Defenseman Anton Volchenkov notched the equalizer for them.  The Devils came on at the end of this period and while the goal was fluky, it was as a result of sustained pressure and hard work by the home team.

The Devils had the extra energy to start off the 3rd period.  They had several scoring chances and had a goal disallowed a couple of minutes into the period.  The Kings bounced back and had some strong opportunities of their own as each team vied for the go-ahead marker.  Neither could achieve this goal and the game proceeded to overtime.

At 8:13 of the extra session, Kings forward Anze Kopitar took a pass from Justin Williams that send him in on a breakaway.  He went to the forehand to beat Brodeur and silence the partisan New Jersey crowd.  The King Prevailed 2-1.

On shooting forehand on Brodeur on the game-winner, Kopitar said, “That goes back a few years when we were in the shootout in L.A., and I went backhand on him.  Maybe he thought I was going to do it again.  Tonight I just wanted to mix it up a little bit.”

On the game, he said, “That was really not the plan, to feel them out for two periods. You want to get out as hard as you can. E specially on the road, you have to have a good start.  Tonight maybe we didn’t have the start we needed. We got the first goal, which was huge for us. After that we kind of got legs underneath us and we were able to generate some chances.  They don’t give up a whole lot.  You have to be careful going through the neutral zone, that you don’t make any turnovers, because they got some speedy forwards, some forwards obviously that can finish.  You have to await turnovers and just make sure you make strong plays.”

Game 2 is Saturday in Newark, NJ.

Kings and Devils battle for the puck

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