Kings ice Devils, win Game 1 in OT
Los Angeles 2, New Jersey 1
Anze Kopitar's breakaway goal 8:13 into overtime led visiting Los Angeles past New Jersey in the opener of the Stanley Cup finals.
After Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky was caught on a pinch in the Los Angeles zone, Kopitar gathered a Justin Williams pass at the New Jersey blue line, waited for Devils netminder Martin Brodeur to commit and slid a forehand past his right pad for his seventh goal of the playoffs.
The goal improved the eighth-seeded Kings to 9-0 on the road in the playoffs, with four of those victories coming in series openers. Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick made 17 saves to preserve the win while Brodeur, playing in his 200th career postseason game, turned aside 23 shots in defeat.
Game 2 is set for Friday night in New Jersey.
A Devils turnover led to the game's opening goal near the midway point of the first period. Devils defenseman Andy Greene lost control of the puck behind the red line and it ended up on the stick of Jordan Nolan, who fed Colin Fraser for a one-timer from the left faceoff dot that beat Brodeur between the pads.
The Devils looked to draw even moments later, but David Clarkson missed from in close at the end of a nifty passing play. Kings captain Dustin Brown was given a penalty for interfering with Brodeur with just under eight minutes remaining, but New Jersey couldn't convert.
Clarkson had another chance near the end of the frame, but he swatted a rolling puck over a partially open net with Quick out of position.
The teams ratcheted up the physical intensity to begin the second frame. New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus leveled Kings forward Jeff Carter with a clean hit, and Brown returned the favor with a hard check on Clarkson.
New Jersey didn't do much else for most of the frame, going 13 1/2 minutes before recording its first shot on a goal - a puck that slid off Zach Parise's stick and right to Quick. Zubrus had a chance to tie the score later in the frame, but his wrist shot from the right circle glanced off Quick's glove and out of harm's way.
The Devils finally solved Quick with 1:12 remaining in the period. Anton Volchenkov's initial shot glanced off a player in front of the net, then hit Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and beat Quick.
New Jersey thought it had taken the lead in the opening moments of the third, but Parise jammed the puck into the net with his glove as he lay in the crease. Another Devils chance went by the wayside later in the frame, as Mark Fayne gathered a Quick rebound but fired the puck wide of an open net.
The Kings responded with just under eight minutes remaining, but Brodeur kept them off the scoresheet with a series of saves - including a brilliant pad stack to deny Drew Doughty from in close.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Fraser's goal was his first in 18 career postseason games. ... Los Angeles is now 6-0 when tied after two periods so far in the playoffs. The Devils dropped to 4-4. ... Among the notable fans in attendance was New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, gracing a Devils jersey. ... Wednesday marked the 24th overtime game of the playoffs, the most in a single postseason since 2004. The all-time record of 28 was set in 1993, the last time the Kings reached the finals.