Stanley Cup Finals 2012: 3 Stars from Game 1 Between the Kings and Devils
Anze Kopitar scored the game-winner in overtime as the Kings beat Marty Brodeur and the Devils 2-1.
The game was closely contested and a real battle from start to finish. At times, it looked like mirror images duking it out on the ice.
Here are my three stars for the Kings from tonight's game.
3rd Star: Justin Williams
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
And he did it again tonight.
Williams, and the first line in general, was pretty well shut down tonight by the stingy Devils defense and Marty Brodeur. However, when the team needed a line to step up, Williams, Kopitar and Brown were up to the occasion yet again.
Williams was a hound on the puck all night and on the game-winning goal, he made a brilliant no-look breakout pass to spring Kopitar on a breakaway.
Good game overall by Williams.
2nd Star: Anze Kopitar
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Kopitar played the game we all know he can play tonight.
He was shut down offensively, but he still played a great all-around two-way game.
When the team needed their star the most, he delivered. Also, let's really give some credit to Kopitar for that breakaway move. Beating a goalie on a breakaway is tough all on its own. But how about beating future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur on a breakaway in overtime of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals?
Kopitar showed that he has some ice in his veins tonight.
1st Star: Jordan Nolan
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Jordan Nolan played quite possibly his best ever professional game tonight.
Nolan clocked in at just over 11 minutes of ice time, but he had a serious impact in that time. He recorded four hits, including one each on Steve Bernier and Marek Zidlicky that sent them flying, and recorded an assist.
He played physically all night, and his presence on the forecheck created the turnover which led to the Kings' first goal.
You do what you can with the ice time that you are given, and the 22-year-old rookie did a lot with very little.
It will be a huge boost if the Kings can get play like that from their fourth line all series.