Kings Devils

Kings, Devils struggle to create scoring opportunities

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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.”

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?