Anze Kopitar Scores Overtime Winner In Game 1 Of Stanley Cup Finals
Few are expecting a high scoring series, and Game 1 fell in line with those expectations. The two sides played to a 1-1 tie, and neither saw too many chances throughout in the first opener to go to overtime since 2002.
Colin Fraser got the scoring started for the Kings early on to give them the 1-0 edge. The Kings really had the Devils on the ropes early. New Jersey couldn’t handle the fantastic forecheck of the Kings, but LA could only manage the one goal.
The Devils would tie it up in the waning minutes of the third, on a goal that went off of Slava Voynov‘s chest and past Jonathan Quick for the equalizer. That momentum would carry on into the third period, with the Kings lacking energy and the Devils running circles around them.
The only real pressure for the Kings, save an opportunity or two, came from the fourth line. That bottom unit got more work in that we’ve seen them get in these playoffs, with Fraser, Brad Richardson, and Jordan Nolan causing a whole heap of issues for the Devils, though the only goal they scored was that first one.
Though chances were in short supply, both goaltenders were very strong. Jonathan Quick continued to perform like we’ve seen him play all postseason, while Martin Brodeur flashed vintage Marty a few times to keep the game level and force overtime.
The beginning of the extra frame was very similar to the third period. The Devils had the forecheck working and were creating chances, but couldn’t cash in. All it takes is one shift to swing the momentum, and that’s just what happened.
Justin Williams set Anze Kopitar up with a beauty of a pass, leaving Kopitar all alone on Brodeur. Like we’ve seen him do before, Kopitar undressed Brodeur to score the overtime winner, leaving Marty to collect his pads up off the ice before he headed into the dressing room.
The Kings are still undefeated on the road in these playoffs, with their record run now having reached an absurd nine games. They’ll look to steal both of the opening games in Jersey when they meet on Saturday.
You can see Kopitar’s overtime winner below.