Kings center Anze Kopitar, left, scores the winning goal past New Jersey… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
NEWARK, N.J. – Anze Kopitar’s goal 8 minutes 13 seconds into overtime gave the Kings a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final opener Wednesday at the Prudential Center.
Kopitar was sent on a breakaway by Justin Williams. He deked right in front of New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur and tucked in a forehand shot to the left.
“It’s always tough going in on Marty,” Kopitar said. “He’s a world-class goaltender. I think I got he best of it tonight.”
The victory gave the Kings a 9-0 road record during the playoffs. It was their third overtime win.
Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation.
For the record: An earlier version of this report said the Kings' Anze Kopitar scored the winning goal on a backhand shot. It was a forehand shot.
With the score tied, 1-1, a scramble in front of the net nearly gave the Devils the lead four minutes into the third period. The Devils’ Zach Parise picked up a deflection in front of the net, but couldn’t get the puck past goaltender Jonathan Quick.
A pileup a the goal crease ensued and Parise grabbed the puck with his left hand and pushed it into the net. Referees ruled it was not a goal and the call was upheld on replay.
Mark Fayne nearly gave the Devils the lead midway through the third period but shanked a shot with a wide-open net.
The Kings racked up six consecutive shots at one point in the third period. Brodeur stopped them all.
Drew Doughty had the best chance, lining up an open shot in the slot. But Brodeur sprawled, stacked his pads and made the stop 12 minutes into the third period.
The Kings’ Mike Richards slid patiently in the slot, waiting for his chance with a minute left. But, again, Brodeur was up to the task.
The Kings seemed in control of the game in the second period when a burst of energy, and a kind bounce, allowed the Devils to tie the score.
Parise and Quick got tangled in the goal crease. The play seemed to put some life in the Devils’ game.
Moments later, Anton Volchenkov sent a shot in from the blue line that Quick batted away, but the puck rebounded off the Kings’ Slava Voynov and into the net to tie the score, 1-1.
Until that point, the Kings had dominated the second period.
The Devils had one shot on goal through 13 minutes of the first period. They didn’t have their first shot in the second period until Parise’s weak short-handed attempt 14:30 into the period. The puck rolled off Parise’s stick and slid harmlessly to Quick.
Quick had a tougher test moments later. The Devils’ Dainius Zubrus got off a laser shot, but Quick managed to get his glove on the puck.
The two teams played a scrappy first period with plenty of give-and-take action. Things tilted the Kings' way when Jordan Nolan knocked New Jersey’s Andy Greene off the puck behind the Devils’ net.
Nolan then centered to Colin Fraser, whose one-timer beat Brodeur for a 1-0 lead 9:54 into the game.