The Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Rangers, 3-2, in overtime in Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals on June 4.
"No strangers to comebacks, the Kings bested an early two-goal deficit Saturday night, trumping the New York Rangers with a 3-2 OT victory at STAPLES Center.
"They've begun their Stanley Cup Final series in the same way the won the West -- overtime production.
"New York's first two period goals, the only they would score during the evening, came in a 1:43 span within one another. Benoit Pouliot buried the Rangers' first goal after pick-pocketing Drew Doughty high atop New York's zone as the Kings defenseman tried to make a rather fancy toe-drag move to avoid pressure.
"Pouliot walked in alone on Jonathan Quick and ripped a wrist shot past his blocker side, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 6:39 remaining in the first period.
"The Kings looked to respond to New York's opening marker on their power play when Mats Zuccarello was sent to the box for a hooking infraction shortly after Pouliot's goal. The Rangers, though, would add to their lead with a shorthanded goal off the stick of Carl Hagelin.
"Hagelin broke out on a full-ice rush as the Kings got caught pinching in their own zone, then sped in on Jonathan Quick and beat him with a shot that ricocheted off the left skate of Slava Voynov.
"Hagelin's goal gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead with 4:57 left to play in the first period."
Two-and-a-half minutes later, the Kings' Kyle Clifford put Los Angeles on the board. It was his first goal since Dec. 11 in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, per The Los Angeles Daily News' Elliott Teaford.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty would tie things up with a scintillating toe-drag goal at the 6:36 mark of the second period.
The Kings were unable to score the marginal goal in the third period despite outshooting the Rangers, 20-3, says Teaford.
Kinkopf then describes Williams' game-winning overtime goal:
"And once again, the Kings came away victorious in the extra period. Justin Williams hopped on a turnover in the Rangers' zone, and walked in all alone on Henrik Lundqvist with the kind of time and space you could only dream of having in an overtime period in a Stanley Cup Final.
"Williams, with no pressure, picked his mark on Lundqvist, beating New York's goaltender to the top left corner to give the Kings a 3-2 victory in Game 1. With his game-winning goal tonight, Justin Williams now has nine points (4G, 5A) in the last seven games."
According to Teaford, Williams gives his teammate, center Mike Richards, for setting up his goal.
"Everything, usually, offensively starts in our zone. Richards make a great play getting the puck out. We screwed up on a 3-on-2 royally and fortunately one of their defensemen was falling, right when we turned the puck over.
"I was sitting in front of the net and was able to make that shot."
Williams then hopes the Kings won't have to climb out of a similar hole in Game 2, per Dillman.
"We certainly don't want to make a habit out of this. That is a world-class team up there with world-class offense. There could have been a lot of story lines tonight. They had a breakaway in the third period (by Carl Hagelin) that (Jonathan) Quick made a great save on, we wouldn't be sitting here right now."
Doughty also tells Dillman how underrated Williams is.
"I've said this many times: Justin is the most underrated player on our team by a mile. He doesn't get enough credit for what he does. There are two guys on this team that I want to give the puck to, and that's him and Kopi (Anze Kopitar).
"When they have the puck, plays happen."
Game 2 will be on Saturday, June 7, with a 4:00 p.m. PST face-off at STAPLES Center, says Kinkopf.