NEWARK, NJ Here are five thoughts from the first period of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings, with New Jersey leading 1-0 at the Prudential Center.
1) The Devils needed Zach Parise to start pulling his share of the scoring load and he did that in the first period. Jonathan Quick made an ill-advised pass behind his net, and Parise grabbed the loose puck before beating the LA goaltender to the post with a stuff shot. Just like that Parise has his first point of the Cup Finals, and New Jersey has their captain getting off offensively. Theyll need him if theyre going to push it to seven games.
2) Speaking of Quick, he looked shaky in the first period. The Devils believed they might have rattled him by winning Game 4 and its looked like that a bit thus far. He appeared to be having a lot of difficulty tracking the puck and suffered brain freeze while throwing a puck right to Zach Parise in a bad spot. Quick needs to rebound strongly as hes done throughout the playoffs (for example the really soft goal surrendered to Derek Morris in the conference finals).
3) Andy Greene and Ilya Kovalchuk both were credited with assists on the New Jersey goal. Interesting when it basically happened due to a goalie turnover. Things that make you go hmmm.
4) Best start to any of the games in the series thus far with a hard-hitting, snarling first period. It started with Dainius Zubrus slamming Justin Williams on the opening shift of the game and continued with Matt Greene shoving Patrik Elias into the boards after a Jersey shot later in the first. The normally mild-mannered Elias had some harsh words for the Kings bench right after the play.
5) Andy Greene with two blocked shots, two takeaways and an assist on the Parise goal in the first period for New Jersey. Hes been dialed in early.