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Cullen: Kings grind out Game One win

Scott Cullen
5/31/2012 10:35:49 AM
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The Los Angeles Kings continued their winning ways on the road, taking down the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in overtime of Game One of the Stanley Cup Final.

Anze Kopitar scored the winning goal on a breakaway 8:21 into overtime, which may have been the most exciting play in an otherwise mundane affair. The two clubs combined for 42 shots on goal (25 for L.A., 17 for New Jersey) in more than 68 minutes of game action.

In fact, the Devils didn't record their first shot of the second period until there was 5:30 remaining in the period -- that's a long time to go without a single shot on goal. Credit for the Kings' territorial dominance goes, in part, to the Kings' defence pairing of Drew Doughty and Rob Scuderi, who were the only players with a double-digit Corsi rating for the game (www.timeonice.com), an indication of territorial dominance when they were on the ice.

While Kopitar continued his strong postseason, the other goal-scorers in the game notched their first of the playoffs. Colin Fraser got the Kings on the board with a quick shot through Martin Brodeur's legs in the first period, while Devils D Anton Volchenkov had his point shot rebound off Kings D Vyacheslav Voynov and into the net to tie the game late in the second period.

Kopitar led all players with four shots on goal in the game and Zach Parise had three for the Devils, but New Jersey's fourth-line centre, Ryan Carter, also registered three shots on goal.

Parise and linemates Travis Zajac and Dainius Zubrus each took a minus-2 on the night, on the ice for both goals against. for his part, Zubrus had a game-high eight hits, when no one else had more than five.

Neither team will feel wonderful about their Game One performance, but the Kings, coming off a long layoff, earned a road win by holding the Devils to a total of 17 shots. If the Devils can't generate significantly more chances against one of the game's best goalies, Jonathan Quick, then the Kings will continue steamrolling through the 2012 playoffs.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

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