NHL Stanley Cup Finals 2012: Analyzing Game 1 Period by Period

Shane Darrow@@Pilsbury_BroBoyAnalyst IIMay 30, 2012

First Period

For the first half of the first period it has been fairly even with no real scoring chances. It seems that both teams are trying to find their match-ups and feel out the other. There have been a lot of whistles and both teams seem to be playing very conservatively.

Los Angeles Goal: With 10:04 left in the first period, Colin Fraser finds the back of the net on a shot from the right hash mark after a great feed from behind the net by Jordan Nolan. Definitely a goal that Brodeur would like to have back.

After a great chance by Dustin Brown, he bumps Brodeur. Marty did a little acting and after what looked like an obvious flop, Brown gets sent off for goaltender interference with 8 minutes left in the opening frame.

A pretty solid power play by the Devils, with the best chance coming from Zajak in the slot. Quick was up to task on every chance and the Kings killed the power play successfully.

After the power play, the Devils continued to carry the play but are being way too cute with the puck and definitely need to get more shots on net.

With three minutes left, New Jersey ices the puck and gives the Kings a little time to regroup after the Brown penalty.

Clarkson gets a great chance with a little over two minutes left and fires it just over the net. A huge break for the Kings as Clarkson had Quick beat but failed to bury.

Thoughts on the first: As the period concludes, it's safe to say that the Devils controlled the play after Fraser's goal midway through the first. The shots at the end of the first are even at 5.

Colin Fraser was definitely not who many expected to score the opening goal of the series
Colin Fraser was definitely not who many expected to score the opening goal of the series

 

 

Second Period

The second period starts with a great chance from Jeff Carter, but it was turned aside by Brodeur.

The Kings have been dominating the play for the first five minutes. The Devils can't seem to get anything going and are really struggling with their breakout.

Two huge hits around the 14-minute mark, one by each team. The bigger of the two being Zubrus' hit on Jeff Carter, which really brought the crowd back into it.

The Devils' fourth line draw a penalty after Ryan Carter is slew-footed by Jarret Stoll. With 11:29 left in the second period, the Devils will get their second opportunity on the power play.

New Jersey's power play continues to struggle as they fail to generate any real chances. The best chance during the 5-on-4 was actually by the Kings, as Brodeur took a shot off the knob of his stick and deflected it out of play.

With 8 minutes left in the middle frame, the Devils still only have five shots on the game and are yet to have one in the period.

With 6:37 left in the second, the Kings will get their first power play after an elbowing penalty on Dainius Zubrus. He tried to finish his check on Fraser and came in just too high.

The Kings are running an overload that turns into an umbrella as the puck moves toward the point.

One shot for Los Angeles on the power play, as it expires without any real chances.

Just as the penalty expires Zubrus gets a shot from the slot on what is by far their best chance of the game. Quick flashes the glove and makes the big save.

With three minutes left, Brown gets an unbelievable chance after a back door pass from Anze Kopitar, but Brodeur slides over to make the save on the door step.

With two minutes left, Quick whiffs the puck behind the net and the Devils look like they have an easy goal, but Doughty lays out and blocks the pass in front that would have led to a tap-in.

New Jersey Goal: The Devils finally get a little traffic in front, and with 1:12 left in the second Anton Volchenkov throws the puck on net from the left point. Quick makes the save but the puck goes in the air and hits Slava Voynov in the shoulder and goes in. We've got a tie game.

Thoughts on the second: As the horn sounds to end the middle frame, the momentum is 100 percent with the Devils. They finally sustained some pressure in the offensive end and the tying goal got the crowd right back in it. The shots read 14-9 in favor of the Kings. The third should be a great one.

 

Third Period

The first chance of the period comes two minutes in, by the Devils. Quick scrambles in front of the net after a bad rebound, but the Kings found a way to clear. The Devils are dominating the first three shifts of the final stanza.

The Kings have failed to register a shot after four minutes of play in the third, and there have been great chances thus far for New Jersey by Henrique, Parise, and Zubrus.

Anton Volchenkov fired a puck on net which ended up being deflected in by Slava Voynov to tie the game at 1 late in the second
Anton Volchenkov fired a puck on net which ended up being deflected in by Slava Voynov to tie the game at 1 late in the second

New Jersey Goal Waved Off: After a shot from the point gets deflected and lands right on the tape of Parise's stick with an open net, he fans on it and fails to bury. Quick makes an unbelievable save after recovering from the deflection. Parise ends up hand passing the puck in the net and the goal is called off. The fans don't like it, but the right call was definitely made.

Patrik Elias with a big hit on Jason Williams... and 5:30 into the period it is evident that the Devils have the better wheels in the third. The Kings really need a push here.

Ryan Carter fires a snap shot with traffic in front but Quick is there for the save and the cover. Seven minutes in, the Kings still don't have a shot on goal in the period.

Eight minutes in, the Kings finally get a shot as Dwight King fired a shot from a bad angle—easy save by Brodeur.

Jordan Nolan delivers a huge hit on Marek Zidlicky and then later in the shift gets the best chance for the Kings in the period on a wrap-around attempt. Brodeur ends up making the save and covers for the whistle.

The Devils get a three-on-one half way through the period and somehow don't find the back of the net. Mark Fayne had a wide open net on the rebound and ended up firing the rolling puck wide right of the empty cage. Not a guy known for scoring (only 17 points on the season), Fayne definitely wants that one back.

Two HUGE chances for LA within a 00:10 time frame: Richards leaves a drop pass for Drew Doughty and Brodeur stacks the pads for a huge save. A few minutes later, Jeff Carter walks in alone for a chance and tries to slide one five-hole but Brodeur again is up to the task.

The Kings have gained the momentum after Brad Richardson comes up with another huge chance as the five-minute mark approaches in the final frame.

Both goaltenders have turned the puck over a lot, but both teams failed to convert on their opportunities off of them.

Play finally halts after a Devils icing with two minutes left to play. The last ten minutes have been back-and-forth action, with both teams getting solid chances.

Richards fires a wrist shot from the slot with 1:11 left in the third, but Brodeur cradles it with his chest and freezes it.

David Clarkson fires a slap shot with under a minute left, but Quick goes into the butterfly and makes a fairly easy glove save with no screen.

The final horn rings and game one is going into overtime!

Thoughts on the third: The Devils dominated the first half of the period, but after some big saves by Quick the Kings reversed the momentum and got some great chances of their own. Both goals in the game have been garbage goals and there is no reason to think that the game-winning goal is going to be any different. Shots are 22-16 in favor of the Kings.

Overtime Records in the playoffs: LA: 2-0; NJD: 4-1 

 

Overtime Period

Greatest thing in sports. Overtime. Opening faceoff starts with a "Let's Go Devils" chant from the crowd.

Anze Kopitar was the hero for the Kings in game 1 after his beautiful goal in the first overtime.
Anze Kopitar was the hero for the Kings in game 1 after his beautiful goal in the first overtime.

A lot of dump-and-chase hockey in the beginning of the frame, the nerves seem to be showing.

Five minutes in and there are no real chances thus far. New Jersey has controlled the puck more than the Kings, but are yet to generate many chances.

Dustin Penner makes a miserable pass on a 3-on-2 and forces an odd man rush the other way. Jeff Carter saves the day with an unbelievable back check to ruin a scoring chance for the Devils.

Los Angeles Kings Goal! Doughty moves the puck up from his own blue line to Justin Williams, who sends a backhand feed to Anze Kopitar and he ends up all alone. He absolutely undresses Brodeur on a deke to the forehand. After two garbage goals in the game, Kopitar ends it on a beauty. In the post-game interview on NBC, Kopitar says about Brodeur, "I think I got the best of him tonight."

 

Final Thoughts

I predicted in an earlier article that the Kings would win game one 2-1. The Devils failed to convert on many chances, and the Kings ended up burying their best chance of the overtime frame. Everyone knows the saying: Big players make big plays in big games. And Kopitar did just that.

The Devils need to find a way to handle the Kings' forecheck in game two, as that was really the defining moment of the game. They had their offensive chances but failed to adjust to Quick's style of play and continued to fire pucks low into his pads and chest.

An absolute gem of a game one, and I think the hockey world cannot wait for game two!