Kings vs. Devils
Stanley Cup Finals
Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals did not go according to plan for either team fighting for the NHL championship, but the Los Angeles Kings are not complaining about it. The Kings improved to 9-0 on the road in the playoffs with a 2-1 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils in a sloppy Game and will look to extend their league record in Game 2 on Saturday.
LA center Anze Kopitar netted the Game-winner with 11:47 remaining in OT on a breakaway, faking out future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur, who stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced overall. Fourth-line center Colin Fraser scored the first goal of the Game for the Kings in the first period, and the Devils evened things up on a rebound that was credited to Anton Volchenkov late in the second.
Brodeur played a solid Game in net for New Jersey but will need to turn in a better performance if his team is going to head to Los Angeles with the series tied at 1-1. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made 17 saves and was perfect other than the Devils goal that was scored off one of his own teammates.
There were too many opportunities squandered by both sides and not nearly enough shots taken by the home team against Quick. New Jersey’s leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuck was held to only one shot, but the Devils have found a way to bounce back throughout the playoffs and hope to rebound again here. They won Game 2 in each of the last two rounds and have split the first two Games in every round so far. The difference this time is they are at home, and LA has yet to lose away from the Staples Center.
The Kings are 10-1 in their last 11 Games and have allowed more than two goals just one time during that stretch. They ended up winning that Game 4-3 in OT against the Phoenix Coyotes in the Game 5 clincher on the road and previously lost 3-1 at home to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 of their series. The UNDER is 4-1 in their last five Games and 9-6 in the playoffs overall.
The UNDER is also 4-1-3 in New Jersey’s past eight, with the three pushes all landing on five goals. The Devils have lost consecutive Games only once in the postseason, dropping two in a row against the Florida Panthers in the opening round after winning Game 1.