Adam Henrique's goal with 4:31 to play was the winner as the Devils took a 3-1
win over the Kings to avoid elimination in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals
from the Staples Center on Wednesday.
The Devils hadn't held a lead in the series and were coming off an
embarrassing 4-0 loss on Monday, but they got 21 saves from Martin Brodeur and
goals from Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk to send the series back to New
Jersey, where Game 5 will be played on Saturday night in Newark.
'We finally got rewarded,' said New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer. 'Like I
said, I've liked our game and our efforts the last three games. We just
haven't found a way to win until tonight. So hopefully that gets the ball
New Jersey still has a big hill to climb as only three teams have crawled out
of a 3-0 deficit to win a series. One of those was in the Cup Finals, though,
as the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for four straight wins to defeat the
Detroit Red Wings.
Also, the Devils will have to find a way to stop a Kings team that has won all
10 of their road games in the playoffs, including a pair of 2-1 overtime wins
in the first two games of this series at the Prudential Center.
Jonathan Quick allowed two goals on 23 shots while Drew Doughty scored the
lone goal of the game for the Kings, who are looking for their first Stanley
Cup championship in franchise history.
'It's in the past at this point and we have to focus on the next game, that's
all it is,' said Quick. 'Whether you win or lose, we don't have time to get
down or too excited. We just have to focus on the next one.'
All the goals in this game were scored in the third period and the deciding
goal went to Henrique, who also has two overtime winners in these playoffs.
David Clarkson brought the puck in at the right side and quickly sent a pass
over to the left wing for a skating Henrique, who kicked it over to the
forehand before snapping a shot that beat Quick to the short-side for a 2-1
'Henrique has been there for us the whole playoffs and the whole season,' said
New Jersey right wing Petr Sykora, who was back in the lineup for the first
time since May 19. 'He's that kind of player [where he] will score some huge
goals for us in this playoffs and hopefully he is going to score a couple more
along the way.'
Brodeur then made the lead stand up with 3:44 to play when he made a pad save
on a Dustin Penner shot from the left wing.
Willie Mitchell was called for high sticking when he clipped Kovalchuk with
2:50 to play. The Devils didn't score, but it kept the Kings from applying any
Los Angeles got Quick out for an extra attacker in the final minute, but
Kovalchuk put the puck into the empty net to seal the win.
Los Angeles had the first power play of the game when Zach Parise was
called for a trip of Justin Williams 3:02 in. The best chance of the
advantage came in the second half when a drop pass was left at the
left point for Alec Martinez on a rush. He got a big blast on net, but
Brodeur made the stop then gloved the rebound out of the air.
Jarret Stoll was then called for a hook of Travis Zajac at the 5:53 mark, but
New Jersey didn't manage a shot during the advantage.
However, Dustin Brown was penalized seconds after the Stoll penalty expired as
he tripped Alexei Ponikarovsky. Quick had to be sharp on this one as he made a
nice glove save on a Sykora wrist shot from the slot.
With just over three minutes left, Jersey caught a break when a Williams tip
of a right point shot caromed off the near post and stayed out.
An interference call to Bryce Salvador with 45 seconds left in the period gave
the Kings another power play, and the post was the Devils' friend again as
an Anze Kopitar shot ricocheted off the pipe.
'We have to bury the chances that we get,' said Kopitar. 'They seem like they
had chances off the rush and they capitalized on those. We've got to correct
some things and get ready again.'
The carry-over power play at the start of the second stanza for the Kings bore
no fruit as they managed just one shot. Kovalchuk was denied at the other end
when he wasn't able to get much lift on a shot from the left side and Quick
made a right pad save about two minutes in.
A Slava Voynov shot from the right point was redirected on net about five
minutes in that saw Brodeur make a save, and Quick again used the pad a
minute later to stop a sharp angle shot from the right side by Parise.
Salvador was called for interference at the 8:19 mark when he hit Jeff Carter
and the Kings went on their third man advantage, but the Devils penalty
killers did an excellent job to keep the game scoreless.
With under five minutes to play, Simon Gagne skated into the Devils' zone down
the left wing and had a clear shot on net, but Brodeur made a nice left-pad
save on the wrister from inside the circle.
The first goal of the game went to the Devils at the 7:56 mark of the third.
Dainius Zubrus held off a checker as he skated behind the net and emerged at
the left side. He sent the puck back to the point where Salvador fired a shot
on net. Quick made a pad save, but the rebound went off the skate of Mitchell
before Elias swiped it in at the left side.
The Devils' first lead of the series was short lived lead, though, as Clarkson
was called for boarding Brown at the 8:52 mark and the Kings struck four
Kopitar won the right circle draw back to Mike Richards, who fired a pass over
to the left point where Doughty blasted a one-timer through a screen for his
fourth of the playoffs.
The last sweep in the Cup Finals was in 1998 when the Red Wings defeated the
Capitals...The Devils have never been swept in a playoff series since coming
to New Jersey in 1982...The Devils went 0-for-3 on the power play and have not
scored on the man advantage in 15 chances in the Cup Finals...Quick had not
allowed a goal for 138 minutes, 39 seconds prior to Elias' goal...Devils
defenseman Henrik Tallinder played for the first time since January 17 due to
a blood clot. He played close to 19 1/2 minutes in the game...Kovalchuk and
Kopitar are tied for the points lead in the playoffs. Each player has eight
goals and 11 assists...The Kings' three losses in the playoffs have come in
Game 4 at home with a chance to sweep.