Kings down Devils in NHL Stanley Cup opener

Anze Kopitar scored on a breakaway 8:13 into overtime as the Los Angeles Kings downed the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in the opening game of the NHL championship Stanley Cup Final.

Defenseman Drew Doughty began the move that culminated with the game-winner, sending the puck up the left wing to Justin Williams, who delivered a backhand pass to Kopitar.

Kopitar carried the puck in alone and fired it under the pad of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

"Their one D-man came down the wall and other D came to me," Williams said. "I wasn't sure if Kopitar was alone or not, so I just threw it over there."

"It feels great," Kopitar said. "I wanted to make sure I went to the middle. I yelled for the puck and I don't know if he heard me or not, but he chipped it perfectly."

"He had so much time," Brodeur said. "He saw me not make a move toward his forehand and took advantage. It's a breakaway. Every goalie would want that back. If I could know what he's thinking, it would be a lot easier."

The Kings, who were seeded eighth in the NHL's Western Conference, have now won all nine of their road games in this post-season, an NHL record.

They have won their last 11 road playoff games dating back to last season, and will try to extend the streak in game two on Saturday.

The Kings beat the top three teams in the West to reach the NHL's best-of-seven title series for the second time. In 1993 they fell in five games to Montreal.

Colin Fraser had given the Kings the lead in the first period.

Anton Volchenkov scored late in the second period to pull New Jersey level.

Both teams had a chance to take a 2-1 lead in the third, but neither could get the job done.

Devils defenseman Mark Fayne missed an open shot with little more than 10 minutes remaining.

Two minutes later Brodeur stopped a shot from Doughty.

With the Kings dominating the final 10 minutes of regulation, Brodeur also stopped late shots by Dustin Penner and Mike Richards to preserve the tie and force overtime.

Jonathan Quick made 17 saves for the Kings. Brodeur stopped 23 shots for the Devils, who are in the title series for the fifth time in club history. Their last appearance was in 2003, when they claimed a third Stanley Cup crown.

The Devils had few scoring opportunities in the first two periods, but took advantage of a lucky bounce to knot the score at 1-1 late in the second.

A left-wing drive by Devils defenseman Volchenkov apparently caromed off Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and past Quick with 1:12 left in the second.

Kings fourth-line center Fraser opened the scoring with the first playoff goal of his career.

Fraser took a feed from Jordan Nolan -- who won the puck in a battle behind the net -- and one-timed a shot past Brodeur midway at 9:56 of the first period to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.

Brodeur, 40, played in his 200th career playoff game, joining Patrick Roy (247) as the only goaltenders in league history to achieve the milestone.

He said the Devils would have to act fast on Saturday to tamp down the Kings' confidence.

"This is a team that hasn't lost on the road all year. They feel good about it," he said. "We've got to put that doubt in their mind as quick as possible.

"We can play a lot better," Brodeur added, noting that choppy ice -- and maybe some nerves -- contributed to some sloppy play from both teams.

"The ice was bad, we made turnovers, we panicked with the puck a lot," he said. "They did also."

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Viernes Santo in Kalibo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Viernes Santo in Kalibo

    Photos by Little Wing Luna, VERA Files Text by Mitch Meñez Kalibo, Aklan--Viernes Santo or Good Friday is the most solemn of all the days in Holy Week. It commemorates the Passion and Death of Jesus on the Cross. The … Continue reading → …

  • Hugas Dugo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Hugas Dugo

    Text by Kimmy Baraoidan, VERA Files Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan Pakil, Laguna--In the small town of Pakil, Laguna resides a group of men who call themselves Hugas Dugo. Most members of the group are residents of the … Continue reading → …

  • Lenten procession more than just a spectacle VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Baliuag, Bulacan--This town is hosting what could be the country’s biggest Lenten procession consisting of more than 100 religious statues riding on carriages or carrozas. But concerns are being raised that … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options