Kings Lose to the Devils Despite Controlling the Puck
I don't know how the Kings lost to the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in overtime.
Actually, I know how. The Devils scored first in the third period, a Ryan Carter goal that flew past Kings goalie Ben Scrivens' right shoulder at 5:52. Then 2:30 in overtime, Jaromir Jagr glided through the slot and shot the puck over Scrivens' left leg as Scrivens collapsed onto the ice.
I saw the goals, so I know that in fact the Devils did win. But I also saw the Kings control the puck for the majority of the game. I didn't have a stopwatch to judge how long the Kings held the puck in the Devils zone, but I'm guessing it was more than the Devils in the Kings zone. The Kings outshot the Devils 35-15 in the game.
In fact when Carter's shot sailed into the net for the first goal, the Kings held a 29-6 shot advantage prior to that shot.
"We definitely had lots of shots and lots of opportunities," Anze Kopitar said. "We didn't bear down on them. Ultimately that was the key to their success."
"I thought we played pretty well," Scrivens said. "We generated our fair share of chances. We just ran into a hot goalie."
Schneider made 34 saves in this head scratching win for his team. But Schneider playing well against the Kings is nothing new. In the regular season he had a 1.01 goals-against average against the Kings in his career coming into the game.
"I think it's fair to call it a goalie win," Devils head coach Peter DeBoer admitted. "I thought as the game went on in the second we were a little better, and the third we got a little bit better again. He basically took that one on himself."
A minute after the Devils scored, the Kings answered right back. Sometimes your best player has to be your best player, and Anze Kopitar certainly did that. His shot got past Cory Schneider, and Justin Williams tipped it past the line to tie the game.
With the exception of that flurry, most of the game was a pretty bad. Just to show you how bad it was, the sound of a Kings PR announcement in the press box startled me because of how quiet it got in the arena. Of course, the announcement told us that the Kings had a sold-out crowd of 18,118.
Jagr's overtime goal tied him with former longtime teammate Mario Lemieux with 690 goals.