The Los Angeles Kings did it again Wednesday night. They won their 11th straight road playoff game dating back to last season and improved to 9-0 on the road in this postseason. The Kings proved that success was no fluke in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils and will continue their roll in Game 2 on Saturday night.
Los Angeles has been absolutely stellar in the playoffs. Led by goalie Jonathan Quick and forwards Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, the Kings have been on a historic streak this postseason.
The Kings are now 13-2 in the playoffs after being the eighth seed in the Western Conference. They opened the postseason by spanking the West's top seed, the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1. Then they swept the second-seeded St. Louis Blues, before dispatching the third-seeded Phoenix Coyotes 4-1. Now they've taken a 1-0 lead over the Devils with a 2-1 overtime win in Game 1.
Darryl Sutter's team has simply played harder and faster than its opponents, and it also helps having a stud like Quick between the pipes.
The Devils are an excellent team, but except for a stretch at the beginning of the third period, the Kings dominated Game 1. New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur made several outstanding saves to keep his team in the game, but the momentum was clearly on Los Angeles' side for most of the game.
Los Angeles took more shots than New Jersey (25-17), won more faceoffs (31-25) and had fewer giveaways (11-6). The Kings were the better team all the way around on Wednesday night.
On Saturday night the Devils face a must-win game while the Kings can play loose, having already stolen home-ice advantage away. I expect Los Angeles to come out and play even better in Game 2 and continue their road success.