NEWARK, N.J. — Anze Kopitar scored a spectacular goal on a breakaway 8:13 into overtime and the Kings beat the Devils 2-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday night.
Kopitar faked a backhand shot, put the puck on his forehand and beat sprawling Devils goalie Martin Brodeur by putting the puck under Brodeur's raised right lower leg.
Los Angeles has won all nine of its road games in the playoffs, a league record. The Kings are one win shy of the record for road victories in one postseason. They have won 11 consecutive road playoff games dating to last season.
More important, they are three wins from the franchise's first NHL title.
In overtime, after Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty chipped the puck up the ice, wing Justin Williams delivered a perfect backhanded pass off the wall to Kopitar, who broke in alone on Brodeur and beat him with a deke to his forehand. Brodeur went down, and Kopitar beat him from the left side for his seventh goal of the playoffs and the second OT goal of his career.
Brodeur said he thought Kopitar was going to go to his backhand. Kopitar said he went backhand on Brodeur in a shootout a "few years ago."
The Devils had two players engage on Williams at the wall, leaving Kopitar alone in the middle of the ice. Asked about the defensive breakdown, New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said, "We're playing to win the game. I won't make any apologies for that."
The game was tightly played, in style and mind-set. By the middle of the second period, the Kings led 1-0 on a first-period goal by Colin Fraser and had nine shots. The Devils had five shots, all in the first period. "I thought we came out a bit tentative, as is expected," DeBoer said. "I thought we got better as game went on."
Los Angeles finished with 25 shots, New Jersey 18. The game "just came down to one opportunity," Kings wing Dustin Penner said.
With the scored tied at 1, the Devils had two great chances to take the lead early in the third, and for a second it appeared they went ahead with 16:02 to play when Zach Parise scored off a wild goal-mouth scramble. While the horns went off and the fans celebrated, referee Dan O'Halloran waved off the goal.
It was reviewed in Toronto, and the ruling was Parise swept the puck in with his hand.
First Period—1, Los Angeles, Fraser 1 (Nolan), 9:56. Penalties—Brown, LA (goaltender interference), 12:19.
Second Period—2, New Jersey, Volchenkov 1 (Elias, Clarkson), 18:48. Penalties—Stoll, LA (tripping), 8:31; Zubrus, NJ (elbowing), 13:23.
Third Period—None. Penalties—None. First Overtime—3, Los Angeles, Kopitar 7 (Williams, Doughty), 8:13. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—Los Angeles 5-9-8-3—25. New Jersey 5-4-7-2—18. Power-play opportunities—Los Angeles 0 of 1; New Jersey 0 of 2. Goalies—Los Angeles, Quick 13-2-0 (18 shots-17 saves). New Jersey, Brodeur 12-6-0 (25-23).
Reports: Red Wings' Lidstrom to retire
DETROIT — Red Wings captain Nick Lidstrom, a four-time Stanley Cup champion and a seven-time winner of the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman, scheduled a news conference for this morning, and multiple reports said he will announce his retirement after 20 seasons.
Lidstrom, 42, was not commenting. General manager Ken Holland said, "He's going to announce (today) his decision for next year. … He can make his own announcement."
Lidstrom has been with the Red Wings since they drafted him 53rd overall in 1989.
around the league: The league will address officiating — and the perception that enforcement standards slipped this season, especially for obstruction — at a special August meeting with representatives of general managers, coaches, players and officials, hockey operations vice president Colin Campbell said after general managers met in New York. Also, talks will continue about a proposal that penalties carry over from one game to the next in a playoff series. … The league and union are setting up a schedule to begin talks on a new collective bargaining agreement in the next few weeks, commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Donald Fehr said at a news conference. The current agreement expires Sept. 15. … The league had a record $3.3 billion in revenue this season, Bettman said.