Kings Take Game One, Maintain Road Dominance
The Los Angeles Kings maintained their perfect record on the road as they took the early advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Anton Volchenkov canceled out Colin Fraser's first-period tally before Kopitar streaked in on a breakaway and out-waited Martin Brodeur to give the Kings their ninth victory in nine road games this postseason.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick needed to only make 16 saves for the victory and he firmly believes that the Kings battle level is key to strong road displays.
He said: "I think we've out-worked teams. I think whoever wins this series is going to be the team that out-works the other.
And game-winner Kopitar echoed those sentiments, saying: "Yeah, I mean, every time you get on the road you need a team effort. It showed again tonight. We had four lines going, six D. Jonathan was great at net for us again. We got to continue doing that."
Quick maintained his focus despite the low shot count but insists going head-to-head with future Hall of Famer Brodeur has no impact on his game.
Quick said: "I'm not looking to match him step for step. I'm not trying to score on him. He's not trying to score on me. I'll leave that to the forwards and D. I'm trying to make saves and help my team win a game.
"Last series I played a handful of games where I'd see around 20 shots.
"You know, I didn't really know what to expect coming into this game, seeing as we haven't played them in so long. Watching their games against the Rangers, they had anywhere between 40 shots and 20 shots against Lundqvist. I was just going shift by shift. If the team needed me, I just wanted to make the save."
Despite the defeat on home ice, Devils coach Pete DeBoer feels there is plenty of encouragement to take into game two.
"I think our group has done a pretty good job of self-analyzing, you know, looking at the game and realizing, both individually and collectively where we have to get better.
"We have two days to do that. We'll be better on Saturday night.
"You know, it would have been nice to get a bounce. But, I don't believe we deserved to win tonight. That's the bottom line. That's what happened. If we had have won, we would have been sneaking one out, so...
"I think we're going to have to find another level. I feel we have another level. I thought we came out a little tentative, as was expected for a Stanley Cup Final game. I thought we got better as the game went on. That's a team you've got to play 60 minutes against.
"The good news is we started in the same hole against Philly, we started in the same hole against the Rangers. We responded to the situation in the right way the last two rounds, and I expect the same"
* Editor's note: Chris isn't just from the UK, but he's Welsh. While I convert most of his quasi-Queen's English to an American-Canadian hybrid of English, sometimes I just have to give him something, and making an arena in Jersey seem more 'proper' seemed like a good idea.
Second editor's note: this was originally posted under my name [David Singer], but has been corrected.