The Kings’ work in shutting down the Devils was more than effective as New Jersey was held to just one goal and limited opportunities. A day later, Kings players said they felt more than prepared for how the Devils came after them.
“We’ve been watching some video. There were no huge surprises out there,” Anze Kopitar said.
“They played hard. They have some skilled forwards that have some size too. They come in on the forecheck pretty hard. Everytime we’re in our zone we want to make sure we make strong plays and get the hell out of there.”
Jonathan Quick echoed Kopitar’s thoughts on what they felt the Devils would bring to the table and ultimately did do.
“I think we had a pretty good understanding of what they’d bring to the table to be honest,” Quick said. “They’re great on the forecheck, they create a lot of speed in the neutral zone. Those are two of the biggest areas we have to take away to have success.”
For Drew Doughty, their biggest focus is trying to contain Ilya Kovalchuk.
“He’s got a lot of speed and I’m aware of that. He likes to get open and take that shot,” Doughty said. “So my main objective is to not giving him a lot of room, not give him those open areas and I want to play him hard and do everything I can to take him out of the series.”
Kopitar summed up their work in Game 1 succinctly.
“There’s always special attention to those kinds of players with that kind of caliber. We have to make sure it’s not given to them. Every time you play against those kinds of guys you have to make it hard on them. I thought we did a fairly good job of that.”