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Kings win Game 1 of 1993 Stanley Cup finals

Kings win Game 1 of 1993 Stanley Cup finals

June 1, 1993: Luc Robitaille, right, celebrates after scoring the first of his two goals against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals in Montreal. The Kings won, 4-1.

Times staff writer Lisa Dillman reported on the Kings win:

MONTREAL — Maybe now the Canadiens know why the Kings were laughing their way through their introductory news conference at the Stanley Cup finals.

The explanation came Tuesday night when Kings so thoroughly dominated Montreal in Game 1 that the Canadiens needed a goal by Wayne Gretzky — into his own net — to avoid a shutout. Montreal’s native son and left wing Luc Robitaille put two goals past goaltender Patrick Roy, and Gretzky added another improbable goal from a sharp angle into an empty net and three assists in the Kings’ 4-1 victory before a sellout crowd of 17,959 at the Montreal Forum.

It gave the Kings a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and ended the Canadiens’ eight-game winning streak at home. It was only their fourth loss in 16 playoff games. Montreal Coach Jacques Demers gave almost all the credit to Gretzky.

“Gretzky toyed with us tonight,” he said. “He did what he wanted. . . . I cannot take anything away from Wayne and his boys. This was the Great One we saw tonight. Everybody just followed the pattern of Gretzky.”

In one sense, Gretzky scoring on his own goaltender, Kelly Hrudey, eventually came back to haunt the Canadiens. It was late in the first period and Gretzky was working hard on defense, backchecking when Ed Ronan threw the puck out front from the left corner. Gretzky, stretching with his stick, put it past a stunned Hrudey at 18:09.

All Gretzky could do was skate away, looking down and shaking his head ever so slightly. After one period the scoreboard showed: Kings 1, Canadiens 1.

“It happens to everybody,” Kings defenseman Charlie Huddy said. “He felt bad. After that, he kind of picked it up and turned it on. He went out and played his hockey game.”

Said Gretzky: “I’ve done it at least three or four times in my career. I don’t think I’ve ever shot it that hard.”

Well, it probably was another first for Gretzky: He figured in all five goals scored by both teams.

Unfortunately for the Kings, game one was their only victory. The Montreal Canadiens won the next three matches — all in overtime. The Canadiens won game 5 and the Stanley Cup 4-1.

This photo by staff photographer Vince Compagnone was published on Page 1 of the June 2, 1993, Los Angeles Times.

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