Kings edge Rangers to claim Stanley Cup opener

Thu Jun 5, 2014 1:14am EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The ever-resilient Los Angeles Kings rallied from two goals down to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime in an action-packed Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals at Staples Center on Wednesday.

Right wing Justin Williams scored the game-winning goal with a snap shot, on an assist from Mike Richards after a turnover by Dan Girardi, almost five minutes into the extra period as Los Angeles struck the first blow in the best-of-seven series.

"Certainly it was not the start we wanted, but we got the result we wanted," Williams, who is known for his remarkable Game Seven exploits, told NBC television after scoring his eighth goal of the postseason. "I was able to make a shot."

Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter, whose team became the first ever to win three Game Sevens en route to the Stanley Cup Finals, was delighted with yet another comeback victory.

"Nobody is ever out of it," Sutter told reporters after the Kings won the series opener in a heavily anticipated matchup between teams representing the two biggest media markets in the United States.

"Keep plugging away and make a big play to tie it, make a big play to win it. You don't want to trade chances with the New York Rangers. If you have to score more than three goals, you're going to have trouble."

The Kings, who ousted the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals, are chasing their second Stanley Cup title in three years while the Rangers are seeking to hoist the trophy for the first time in two decades.

The visiting Rangers had jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening period when left wing Benoit Pouliot scored on a breakaway before fast-moving Swede Carl Hagelin added a short-handed goal.   Continued...

Jun 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) reacts after scoring a goal against New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the first period in game one of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports