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Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings shoots the game winning goal in overtime against Dainius Zubrus #8 and Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils during Game One of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final.
Los Angeles better get ready to catch hockey fever.
Last week, The L.A. Kings made Angelenos turn their eyes off the field and onto the ice when they advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. They demanded more attention by winning game one on Wednesday night.
Bob Miller has been the play-by-play announced for the L.A Kings for close to 40 years. He was a part of the team when they were in the Finals back in 1993, and he says this time its exciting because the Kings have played such a stellar season.
"It is a great thrill and I think its a thrill for all Kings fans because I think maybe like '93 when it was a thrill to be there for the first time ever… now this year the Kings are 13-2 in the playoffs," he said. "I think Kings fans are excited about the possibility of seeing the Kings win the Stanley Cup."
Though the Kings have looked great so far, the New Jersey Devils are a formidable team, so when game one of the Finals tied 1-1 and went into overtime in Newark, the Kings must have been worried. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur is one of the most experienced, proven guys in the net, but he had no defense when Anže Kopitar whistled down the ice. The top Kings player from Slovenia scored an OT goal that has him branded as "Kopi-Star" for these finals.
"What [coach] Daryl Sutter has done is kept this team strictly focused on the next game and that is it," said Miller. "The Kings have not been celebrating anything in spite of their great record here int he playoffs, they're simply looking ahead to the next game."
This Saturday night, game two will be on Devils’ ice again. That might not be a bad thing for the Kings. They are on a winning streak of road victories. The Kings have won all nine of their postseason away games.
Another win on Saturday night would give them an NHL record for away wins in the play-offs, a record shared by a number of other teams including the Devils.
Not so fast though. The Devils have a ton of postseason experience and again, there’s that Brodeur. But are they hungry enough? What will it take to bring the Cup to L.A. for the first time ever?
Bob Miller, television play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles King, NHL team