Los Angeles remains kings of road in OT win
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NEWARK, N.J. -- Anze Kopitar scored a spectacular goal on a breakaway with 11:47 left in overtime Wednesday night as the Los Angeles Kings beat the New Jersey Devils, 2-1, in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
Kopitar faked a backhand shot, put the puck on his forehand and beat a prone Martin Brodeur.
Los Angeles has won all nine of its road playoff games, an NHL record and are one win shy of the NHL record for postseason road victories.
More important, the Kings are three wins away from the franchise's first NHL title. They have won 11 consecutive road playoff games dating to last season.
Colin Fraser scored in the first period for the Kings, the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference who beat the top three teams to get to the final for the first time since 1993.
Anton Volchenkov tied it late in the second period for New Jersey, the East's sixth seed.
Kopitar took a pass by Justin Williams from along the left-wing boards and skated in alone on Brodeur and scored.
The veteran goaltender dejectedly skated to the locker room.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick finished with 17 saves. Brodeur had 23 saves as the Devils lost in overtime for the second time this postseason; they have won four overtime games.
The Kings are 3-0 in such games this postseason.
The Devils had two great chances to take the lead early in the third period, and, for a split second, it appeared they had gone ahead with 16:02 left in regulation when Zach Parise knocked in the puck to cap a wild goalmouth scramble.
While horns went off and fans celebrated, referee Dan O'Halloran quickly waved off the goal.
It was reviewed in Toronto, and replay clearly showed Parise had swept the puck into the net with his hand.
New Jersey defenseman Mark Fayne likely was kicking himself six minutes later when he missed a wide-open net from the edge of the crease.
The Kings had chances, too, forcing Brodeur to come up with two outstanding saves about 10 seconds apart in the third.
He made a stacked-pad save on a one-timer by defenseman Drew Doughty from 30 feet after a drop pass from Mike Richards, and then a turnover seconds later set up power forward Dustin Penner for a good shot from the left circle.
The Kings needed only 14 games to reach the championship series, and they made the Devils look ordinary in the first 40 minutes, holding them to nine shots.
A fluke goal by Volchenkov, however, tied the game with 1:12 left in the second.
The veteran defenseman took a shot from the left point that Quick kicked away. The puck went airborne, avoided Devils forward Patrik Elias in front and hit instead off the shoulder of Kings defenseman Slava Voynov before going into the net.
Before that, Fraser's first career playoff goal had the look of a winner. It was a typical Kings' goal, created off the forecheck by the fourth line.
Jordan Nolan checked New Jersey's Andy Greene behind the Devils net, outfought him for the puck and found Fraser between the circles for a shot that beat Brodeur 9:56 into the game.
First Published May 31, 2012 12:31 am