Benoit Pouliot and Carl Hagelin had scored first-period goals for the Rangers and Kyle Clifford scored for the Kings during an action-packed, yet sloppy, opening period in which there were 27 shots on goals and all the scores came in the final seven minutes.
Doughty’s tying goal midway through the second period came when he squeezed a shot between the body and the right arm of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Pouliot had opened the scoring with six minutes, 39 seconds left in the first period when he stole the puck from Doughty and came in alone on Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick, flipping a wrist shot past him.
The Rangers were killing a penalty three minutes later when Hagelin scored his team-leading seventh goal of the playoffs. His shot on a breakaway was stopped by Quick, but the rebound trickled into the net off the left skate of Kings defenseman Slava Voynov.
Clifford got the Kings on the scoreboard 2 1/2 minutes later when he took a Jeff Carter pass from behind the net and put a quick shot past Lundqvist.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven National Hockey League championship series is set for June 7, also at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The series then moves to New York’s Madison Square Garden for the following two games.
It is the first time the Rangers and Kings have met in a Stanley Cup finals, and the first championship-round showdown since 1981 between teams from New York and Los Angeles in any major sport. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees in baseball’s World Series 33 years ago.
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