The Los Angeles Kings have taken the first game of the Stanley Cup Final and need three more wins to claim their first title.
The game stayed close the entire way, a tie forcing overtime between the Kings and Devils. A battle of the goalies as Martin Brodeur and Jonathan Quick traded saves throughout the game and overtime period, fans were not disappointed in the first of what could be a seven-game series. The game ended on a beautiful play by Anze Kopitar as he unwrapped Brodeur eight minutes into overtime.
If this first game is any indicator of how the final will be played, each game could come down to one goal, or require more than 60 minutes. The desire to win the Stanley Cup burns inside the teams’ players because some have never won, and some want to win again. On the Kings side of the bench, their franchise has never won a Stanley Cup. On the Devils side, Brodeur is the oldest goalie to start a Stanley Cup game and many of the team’s players have never hoisted a cup. Ilya Kovulchuk is playing in his tenth season and just took the ice in a final game for the first time.
Game 2 Saturday in New Jersey should bring two teams ready to fight for the cup again. A win for the Devils means giving their fans something to look forward to if the team should win the next three and play the deciding game in the Prudential Center. On the Kings side, another win for them would give them a 2-0 lead in the series and a chance to hoist the cup in their city for the first time. If the Kings do win Saturday, they will tie an NHL record for most wins in a postseason (10).
This series will be one to remember regardless because of the goalies and all the different story lines coming in. The two teams playing in the final might be the least expected, but the match up is priceless.