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Strong starts go a long way with Devils, Kings

Jun 1, 2012, 6:15 PM EDT

Anze Kopitar Getty Images

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.”

  1. comradeast - Jun 1, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    “New Jersey and the Los Angeles Kings are a combined 16-3 in the playoffs when scoring first…Devils are just 4-5 in the playoffs after surrendering the first goal”

    I’m too lazy to look up the real stats but the math just doesn’t add up.

    • Ryan Dadoun - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      I double checked it to be sure and I’m pretty confident it’s right. The Devils are 8-2 when scoring first and the Kings are 8-1, so combined they’re 16-3. The Devils are 4-5 when they go down 1-0, which adds up to a 12-7 record overall.

  2. blomfeld - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    With all due respect friends …

    Your discourse here equates to nothing more than a couple of ants on the pavement, arguing about “who should take out the garbage” just before a heel comes “crushing” down on their heads ! Your “statistics” are irrelevant and they amount to nothing more than “leaves” blowing in the wind. It was a very barren landscape when I first came here to PHT in January and spoke of my “vision” that the LA Kings would attain glory this year. Well just look at what we have now, eh ? So save your “well intentioned” thoughts friends and instead consider the following, in terms of what’s about transpire tomorrow night there in Jersey town !

    GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Note: Earps = LA Kings … Outlaws = NJ Devils

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