Stanley Cup Final, Game 2
8:00 ET… TV: NBC, CBC
Players to watch:
LA- Anze Kopitar
LA- Anze Kopitar
Kopitar’s impact on a game goes beyond the box score. He’s one of the top two-way players in today’s game and has the ability to take over in games. How will he build off Wednesday’s overtime winner?
NJ- David Clarkson
Coming out of Game 1, the Devils would probably like some more traffic in front of Quick. Clarkson, who missed on a couple open nets Wednesday, is a big body that can cause some havoc. He hasn’t scored in the last five games, though.
Projected starting goaltenders:
LA- Jonathan Quick (Playoff stats: 13-2, 1.49 GAA)
NJ- Martin Brodeur (Playoff stats: 12-6, 2.02 GAA)
LA- Simon Gagne (concussion, out)
Three things to watch:
1. A perfect 10 for the Kings?
Going into tonight’s Game 2, the Los Angeles Kings have a chance to win their 10th consecutive road game to start the playoffs, which is completely absurd. Their road dominance has fueled a remarkable playoff run. A perfect 10 would give the Kings a 2-0 stranglehold series lead with the site shifting to Los Angeles next week.
2. New Jersey needs more from Kovalchuk
If the Devils wish to put an end to the Kings’ road mojo tonight, Ilya Kovalchuk will have to step up. He didn’t exactly have a great showing in his first Stanley Cup Final game on Wednesday. Kovalchuk, the NHL’s playoff points leader, recorded just one shot in 21:13 of action in Game 1. The Devils need more from Kovalchuk, who has proven to be a catalyst at times this spring.
3. The first 10 minutes
Everyone and their mother know New Jersey is going to play desperate tonight. They have to. If the Kings – a staggering 13-2 in the playoffs, don’t forget – take a 2-0 series lead going back home, this series could be over in a hurry. Look for the Devils to come out with a vengeance in the first 10 minutes and try to get an early lead. The Kings will have to weather the storm and play a good road game.
This is obviously a key game in this series. A Devils win can stop the Kings’ great run away from home and tie this series. A Kings win would put Peter DeBoer’s club in a really tough spot. No road team has won the first two games of the Cup Final since Detroit did it in 1997. Quick will once again have to out-duel Brodeur to get another win. Just a hunch: I don’t think Brodeur will let the Devils go down 0-2 tonight.
Prediction: Devils 3, Kings 1
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