Kopitar the OT Hero, Lidstrom Hangs 'em Up

(5/30/12) The Kings just seem to come up with the big moment every time they need it this playoff season, and Game One of the Stanley Cup Final was no exception.  After a cautious yet hard fought first three frames, the teams headed to overtime tied 1-1, before Justin Williams was able to poke the puck ahead to a wide open Anze Kopitar, who charged in alone on Martin Brodeur to bury the breakaway winner.  And what a beauty it was...

 

 

The story of the game was mostly discipline and defense, and fantasy owners with players left in the final were not treated to the type of fireworks that would clinch playoff pool victory.  Colin Fraser notched the Kings' goal in regulation, assisted by Jordan Nolan, but neither player is likely on many rosters.  For the Devils, Anton Volchenkov batted the puck in for a bit of a garbage goal, with the assists going to Patrik Elias and David Clarkson.  And of course it was Kopitar from Williams to seal the deal, while Drew Doughty was credited with the second assist.  

In net, Jonathan Quick notched his 13th win of the playoffs, making 16 saves in the process.  And Marty Brodeur stopped 23 shots in a losing effort, although both goalies made huge saves at critical moments and were stellar when called upon.

Looking beyond the final, the big story today is that Nicklas Lidstrom is retiring after 20 NHL seasons.  And not that it's necessary to remind anyone exactly how incredible his career was, but we'll run through a few notable stats from his hall of fame resume anyway: 4 Stanley Cups, 1 Conn Smythe, an Olympic Gold medal, 7 Norris trophies, 264 Goals, 878 assists, 1142 points (6th all-time for defenseman, 50th all-time overall)... and perhaps the most impressive stat of all - in 20 seasons with the Detroit, Lidstrom and the Red Wings never once missed the playoffs.  Congratulations on an incredible career, Mr. Lidstom...