Game 1 of the Stanley Cup FInal goes to the Los Angeles Kings as they get a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers. It was another game in which the Kings came back from being down 2-0 early on. It was another game forced and won in overtime. Most importantly, this game gave LA the advantage in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 1-0. Benoit Pouliot was able to open up the scoring on the Kings when the Ranger picked the puck away from Drew Doughty in the Kings’ attacking zone and raced down the ice to go one-on-one with Jonathan Quick. There was no chance for LA’s goalie. Even 2012 Quick could not have stopped this bullet. Rangers went up 1-0.
New York continued the early pressure which caused an unintentionally goal on a short-handed break away. The speed of NY was killing LA as they could barely caught up with Carl Hagelin. Hagelin shot the puck, which Quick initially blocked, but an on rushing Slava Voynov dinked it in with his skate which Quick had no chance with. New York was up 2-0. Head Coach Darryl Sutter quickly shifted lines and put Kyle Clifford, Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis together for a spell. It paid off. Clifford was to the right of Henrik Lundqvuist when he back-handed and flipped in a goal, assisted by Carter, to bring the Kings back in this, 2-1.
If there was a name for the second period, it would be ‘How The Kings And Rangers Got To Know Each Other’. High sticks, butt-ends, a sweet goal and bloody screen shots were just a few of the events that got the two teams going in the second period. The Kings tied it seven minutes into the second on a pretty, pretty move from Doughty that you just have to see. #BecauseItsTheCup
Shortly after the goal, Derick Brassard boarded Brown. It looked as if he was going to the locker room, but to the relief of Kings’ fans, he stayed on the bench. Shortly after that, Matt Greene needed some medical attention. The period even ended with some jawing between Quick and Brassard. Period three would be something interesting.
And so it was. Eight minutes in Rick Nash got called for holding Doughty, while Doughty got called for embellishing. Perfect. A four-on-four it was, though nothing came of it. There were few highlights in the third, which mostly occurred in the last three minutes by both goalies. Stilled tied at two, they were going into overtime.
“Mr. Game Seven” Justin Williams had come through in Game 1. Four and a half minutes in, on a crucial New York turnover in the slot, Williams quick-wristed the puck over Lundqvuist’s pad side. The New York goalie did not even look back to see, he knew Game 1 belonged to the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2. And why not? LA was a lot more active in getting their offense together. In 3rd period and overtime, the Kings dominated the shots 22-5.
But this is far from over. There are still three more games to be won. The Kings know that better than anyone.