The Los Angeles Kings came roaring back from an early 2-0 deficit last night to take the opening game of the Stanley Cup Finals, besting the New York Rangers 3-2 in OT.
The Rangers got on the board first when Benoit Pouliot slotted home a breakaway off a Drew Doughty turnover:
Speedster Carl Hagelin put the visitors up 2-0 on a shorthanded goal just two minutes later. Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick made the initial save, but got no help from teammate Slava Voynov, whose skate deflected the puck in:
The Kings cut the deficit in half just before the end of the first period on a Kyle Clifford score, assisted by Jeff Carter.
Entering the second period down 2-1, the Kings tied the game on a beautiful individual effort by Doughty. The defenseman made a push forward from the blue line, dragging the puck between his own legs before hesitating and beating Henrik Lundqvist under his armpit on the blocker side.
The game remained tied for the remainder of regulation, despite a frenetic final minute that featured dazzling saves from both goalies.
Just 4:36 into overtime, Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi whiffed on a clearance before turning it over to Mike Richards, who found teammate Justin Williams all alone in front of goal. Williams went glove side and gave the home side the series lead.
Last night’s game marked the third consecutive Stanley Cup Finals that Game 1 went to overtime. In 2012, the Kings topped the Devils 2-1 in the first overtime period, and last season the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in triple OT. Both years, the winners of Game 1 went on to hoist the cup.
The puck drops for Game 2 on Saturday, June 7.
(Vines via SB Nation)
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