People in Winkler, Man., showed their support on Wednesday for Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner, a hometown boy who is vying for the NHL's top prize.

Penner and his Kings teammates took on the New Jersey Devils that evening in the opening game of the Stanley Cup final.

Before the game began in New Jersey, Penner's family members and friends — along with hundreds of local supporters — gathered at Bethel Heritage Park in Winkler for an afternoon pep rally.

As it turned out, people in Winkler got a reason to celebrate: the Kings won the game 2-1 in overtime.

Penner has hoisted Lord Stanley's cup once before: in 2007, when he won the NHL's top prize with the Anaheim Ducks.

But that prior victory has not changed the excitement and anxiety his family members are feeling about this year's final.

Earlier on Wednesday, Penner's father, Terry Penner, went to work as usual — a move he said aimed to calm his nerves in advance of the finals.