Jun 1, 2012, 6:15 PM EDT
Scoring first is always important, but it might matter even more in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals. New Jersey and the Los Angeles Kings are a combined 16-3 in the playoffs when scoring first.
Of course, you’d be hard pressed to find a scenario that the Kings haven’t excelled in during their postseason run, but the Devils are just 4-5 in the playoffs after surrendering the first goal.
It goes beyond that though. Both of these teams have been exceptionally good at protecting a lead in the playoffs. The Devils and Kings have only lost a combined three games when leading after 20 minutes. They also have a perfect record in games where they’ve led after 40 minutes.
After a weak start in Game 1 on Wednesday – and really just a subpar showing overall – the New Jersey Devils are expected to put some extra emphasis on starting out strong on Saturday. Of course, the Los Angeles Kings will attempt to do the same.
“We’ve been focusing on starts, and our starts have been pretty good, getting the first goal,” Anze Kopitar said. “It’s easier when you’re not playing catch-up hockey, and obviously everybody knows that. It’s easier with the lead.”
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 50
- Wilson signs with Preds, leaving just four arbitration cases to go 2
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million 62
- Deal with the Devils: New Jersey re-signs Larsson to six-year contract 14
- Stepan seeks $7.25M in arbitration, Rangers counter at $5.2M 24
- Capitals investment: Holtby signs five-year, $30.5M deal 21
- Redemption time? Montreal, Semin agree to one-year deal 26
- Full autonomy: Lamoriello’s place in Leafs’ chain of command 26
- Lamoriello’s departure removes any doubt: Devils are Shero’s team 21
- With Lamoriello hire, Leafs hammer home their culture change 23
- Post expansion, could NHL realign with eight divisions? (138)
- NHL to ‘focus exclusively’ on expansion bids for Las Vegas and Quebec City (89)
- He’s baaaaaack: Leafs pull a stunner, hire Lamoriello as GM (Updated) (84)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million (59)