x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

NHL: Overtime winner hands Stanley Cup momentum to Los Angeles Kings

Anze Kopitar puts Kings into finals lead with late winner against New Jersey Devils.

Stephen Gionta of the New Jersey Devils checks Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings
Stephen Gionta of the New Jersey Devils checks Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings

NEWARK// Anze Kopitar scored a breakaway winner well into overtime as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in the opening game of the NHL championship Stanley Cup Finals.

Drew Doughty began the move that culminated with the game-winner, sending the puck up the left wing to Justin Williams, who delivered a backhand pass to Kopitar.

Kopitar carried the puck in alone and fired it under the pad of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

The Kings, who were seeded eighth in the NHL's Western Conference, have now won all nine of their road games in this post-season.

Los Angeles beat the top three teams in the West to reach the NHL's best-of-seven title series for the first time since 1993.

Colin Fraser had given the Kings the lead in the first period.

Anton Volchenkov scored late in the second period to pull New Jersey level.

Both teams had a chance to take a 2-1 lead in the third, but neither could get the job done.

Devils defenceman Mark Fayne missed an open shot with little more than 10 minutes remaining.

Two minutes later Brodeur stopped a shot from Doughty.