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Stanley Cup Finals: LA Kings Continue to Take Away Home Ice Advantage

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 30:  Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings shoots the game winning goal in overtime against Dainius Zubrus #8 and Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils during Game One of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on May 30, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
John B MathesonCorrespondent IMay 31, 2012

Playing on home ice is supposed to be the advantage, yet so far in the postseason the Los Angeles Kings have taken that advantage away from their opponents.

The Kings are now 15 games into their Stanley Cup run, and have yet to lose while sitting on the visitor’s side of the ice.

For a team that managed to capture the Western Conference’s final playoff spot on the second to last day of the regular season, they have not held the home-ice advantage once this postseason.

This does not seem to affect the Kings at all. For the most part, they have been dominant while on the road.

They have only allowed more than two goals once during these playoffs while on the road and have outscored their opponents.

Whether it is due to the Kings work ethic while on the road, knowing that the odds do not favor them or simply that this team found its stride late in the season, they have taken the advantage of home ice away.

The Kings have been dominant in these playoffs having only lost twice so far, which may also be a factor in their road dominance.

Their toughest opponent so far was the Phoenix Coyotes in the last round. Their defense-first style held the Kings back slightly as they still took the important home games.

It was a tough and gritty series in which Phoenix was unable to capitalize as often as the Kings players were.

For as tough as the Coyotes played, they were still unable to amass more than one victory.

The Devils are in a similar position, having knocked out two of the favored teams in the East in the Flyers and Rangers.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup held many surprises as New Jersey, backed by legend and future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, held the Kings to two goals.

If the Devils hope to win the Stanley Cup, they are going to have to do what no other team has managed against the Kings: win at home.

There were mistakes on both ends during the first game of the Stanley Cup Final. Unfortunately, New Jersey’s cost them the game.

Brodeur looked great in net, as did Quick.

While many analysts are looking at this Stanley Cup Final as a face-off between the two goaltenders, it will come down to the team as a whole to win it.

As strong as the 40-year-old Brodeur was in Game 1, Anze Kopitar was able to beat him for the game winner in overtime.

Should that trend continue, the Devils will walk away without the Stanley Cup. Relying solely on Brodeur will not help. They need players like points leader Ilya Kovalchuck to find a way to defeat Quick.

It took a game for the Devils to figure out Lundqvist, and it may have be the same in the finals.

Whatever it takes, the Kings have proven to be dominant on the road and will continue to do so unless the Devils can step up and win in New Jersey.

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