Kings beat Devils 2-1 in overtime!!
Anze Kopitar shoots the game winning goal against Martin Broduer.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
It took almost 4 periods of play to get there. But the Los Angeles Kings took down Game 1 with a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. At 8:13 into the first overtime, Justin Williams made a beautiful backhand pass to an advancing Anze Kopitar for a beautiful breakaway goal that absolutely froze New Jersey goalie Martin Broduer. Thank god for DVR because I must have watched that goal about 7 times after Kopitar scored the goal! That is of course after all of us in the house stopped screaming!
This is L.A.’s 9th straight road victory since entering the playoffs and puts the L.A. Kings within 3 wins of winning their first Stanley Cup! If the Kings win Game 2 on Saturday, they will tie an NHL record for most road wins in a single post season (the 2004 Calgary Flames, and coincidentally the 1995 and 2000 New Jersey Devils). And the way it is going, it looks like that just might happen!
The Kings won Game 1 for which I am obviously over the moon about. But as Darryl Sutter has pointed out MANY times, this is a 7 game series and “it ain’t over!” I thought for the most part, the Kings dominated periods 1 & 2 of regulation. The Kings are physically bigger than the Devils and the Kings were using that to their advantage. That being said, I thought the Devils did a much better job at forechecking from the end of the 1st period through the rest of the game. The Kings were having a very difficult time trying to attack in their own zone through much of the 3rd period.
I didn’t see any of the so called “rust” that the Kings were “suppose” to have (this according to East Coast hockey media – who listens to them anyway?!). The Kings came out hot and were rolling all 4 lines with precision. That also being said, I saw some series defensive lapses in the late 2nd to 3rd period by the Kings. I saw this behavior rear it’s ugly head during Game 4 against Phoenix. The Kings get complacent and get into a zombie like trance where they lose their aggressiveness and appear to be moving almost in slow motion. I can’t stand when the Kings play this way and you can’t let your foot of the gas even a little bit, against ANY team. Especially not the New Jersey Devils and definitely not in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Kings have to find an answer to New Jersey’s aggressive forechecking. The Kings are bigger, but the Devils are faster. If we don’t find a way to counter that (besides more goals!) I expect more trouble in Game 2. But I am proud of the way the Kings played. They deserve this victory!! GO KINGS GO!!