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Kings, Devils struggle to create scoring opportunities

Kings Devils

Darryl Sutter is a man of few words, but the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings didn’t need many to sum up Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup finals.

“Not much going on offensively for either team,” Sutter said after his team’s 2-1 overtime victory. “The way the teams play, there’s such tight quarters out there.”

The Kings and Devils combined for just 43 shots in almost three and a half periods Wednesday evening in Newark – a trend Sutter expects to continue as the series progresses.

“It’s pretty evenly matched teams, and there’s probably going to be more than one overtime game,” he said.

Kings forward Anze Kopitar scored the overtime winner on a breakaway at 8:13 of the first extra frame, and what he said about the Devils afterwards, he might as well have been saying about his own team.

“They don’t give up a whole lot,” he said. “You have to be really careful going through the neutral zone that you don’t make any turnovers, because they’ve got some speedy forwards and some forwards obviously that can finish.”

The Devils were caught out of position on the Kopitar goal, with defenseman Marek Zidlicky stranded up ice after pinching to keep the puck in the Los Angeles end.

When asked what happened on the play, New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer didn’t need many words either: “We made a mistake and they capitalized.”