Kings after one: Kings 1, Devils 0
Fans booed New Jersey Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk when he hopped over the boards for his first shift and every time he touched the puck, obviously recalling his dalliance with the Kings last summer when he was a free agent. Best of all for the Kings’ faithful was that their heroes scored first and held a 1-0 lead over Kovalchuk and the Devils after one period at Staples Center.
The Kings scored on their second shot on Martin Brodeur, connecting off a well-executed rush.
Ryan Smyth carried the puck up the left side and passed to the middle to Jarret Stoll, who slipped it to his right to Justin Williams. The fleet right wing went around defenseman Tyler Eckford before taking an ice-skimming shot that got past Brodeur at 6:52 for Williams’ fifth goal, which tied him with Dustin Brown for the team lead.
The line of Smyth, Stoll and Williams has combined for 10 goals and 24 points in eight-plus games.
And for those looking for omens, Williams wears number 14 -- the same number so honorably worn by the evening's guest of honor, former Kings captain Mattias Norstrom.
The Devils had an 11-9 edge in shots over the Kings, who were playing their sixth straight game without concussion-stricken defenseman Drew Doughty. Kovalchuk had one of those shots and was minus-1 defensively.
We'll have more later at www.latimes.com/sports