This will be the first-ever playoff series between the Kings and the New Jersey Devils. In the regular season, the Devils beat the Kings once in regulation and once in a shootout. Here’s a brief recap of each of this season’s games…
Oct. 13 at Prudential Center: Devils 2, Kings 1 (shootout)
After they started the season with two games in Europe, the Kings returned to North America and got off to a good start, when Simon Gagne scored 1:47 into the first period to give the Kings the lead. Jonathan Quick turned in a strong 36-save effort, but that’s where the good news ended for the Kings. Patrik Elias made it a 1-1 game with 6:57 remaining in the first period and then the Kings, who totaled 11 shots on goal in the first period, totaled only 11 shots on goal, combined, in the second and third periods. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur had to leave the game after the first period with a shoulder injury, but backup Johan Hedberg let nothing through. The game went to a shootout, and Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored while Hedberg stopped all three Kings shootouts.
Oct. 25 at Staples Center: Devils 3, Kings 0
The game attracted controversy even before the opening faceoff. Jonathan Quick had recorded three consecutive shutouts, but then-coach Terry Murray decided to start Jonathan Bernier in goal, as Murray explained that he had made the decision well in advance. Bernier and the Kings dodged a bullet in the first period, when the Devils had a goal disallowed because of incidental goalie interference, but the Devils broke through with three second-period goals, all in the final seven minutes of the period. Dainuis Zubrus scored two goals and Patrik Elias scored one. The Kings, once again, couldn’t solve goalie Johan Hedberg, who filled in for the still injured Martin Brodeur and made 31 saves.