Just over eight minutes into the extra period, Anze Kopitar sent the fans home unhappy, as the Kings took Game 1 by a score of 2-1 — winning their record ninth-straight road win of the postseason and taking a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Colin Fraser opened the scoring midway through the first, after an Andy Greene turnover behind the net led to a quick centering pass from Jordan Nolan that Fraser buried in the far corner of the net.
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov tied things up with just over a minute left to play in the second, when his centering feed, also from below the goal line, deflected off Slava Voynoy and past Jonathan Quick to tie the game.
Both team traded chances through the third, but Game 1 required extra time to settle this nail-biter of a match.
With pucks bouncing and bodies flying all over the ice, Kings winger Justin Williams, battling along the boards, chipped the puck out to center ice. Kopitar scooped it up and skated in alone on a breakaway, which he tucked under the outstretched leg of goaltender Martin Brodeur to settle the opening game in this best-of-seven series.
A close matchup with good scoring opportubnities at both ends of the ice, the Kings appeared the stronger team on the scoresheet, outpacing the home team in shots (25 to 88) and faceoff wins (31-25). Bothe teams were held scoreless on the powerplay — the Kings with just one opportunity, the Devils with two.
Game 2 is Saturday, June 2, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Puck drop is just after 8pm.