Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils find themselves in an ominous position going back to Los Angeles for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Kings continue to roll on the road as they improve their record 10-0 in this post season
The Devils were hoping to change the script from Game 1’s poor performance. However, that did not happen, as Jeff Carter scored the game- winning goal in overtime to give the Kings a 2-1 victory in Game 2. The Kings are in a good position heading back to Los Angeles up 2-0 on the Devils.
The Devils suffered two straight heart breaking loses, and they will now have to win the next four of five games to win the series. It will be an uphill battle for the Devils, but can they rely on history in that teams have come up from being 0-2 down to win the Stanley Cup.
New Jersey played a much better in game two, but still could not find a way to beat Jonathan Quick. The Devils only out shot the Kings 33-32, and felt they deserved a better outcome in game two. The Devils fore-check was much more aggressive, yet the Devils could not take advantage of the early power-play opportunities.
Los Angeles opened the scoring again when Drew Doughty scored on an end-to-end rush. The Devils defense did not step up to him allowing him to skate untouched threw the neutral zone and into their defensive zone. Doughty’s shot beat Brodeur on his blocker side and the Kings went up 1-0.
The Kings were in control of the game, but could not take advantage of an early power play in the second period. The Devils got better quality scoring opportunities shorthanded than on the power play. Jonathan Quick was there to stop every opportunity the Devils had in the game.
The Devils finally broke through and beat Jonathan Quick early in the third period. Ryan Carter deflected a Marek Zidlicky shot from the point. The momentum quickly shifted the Devils’ way and they looked to end the game in third period rather than in overtime. The Devils had a glorious opportunity with time winding down in the third period. Ilya Kovalchuk shot the puck from the slot, but it hit Quick’s shoulder and off the crossbar.
The Devils power play could not muster any shots, but all credit goes to the Kings penalty killers. The Kings penalty killers had a glorious opportunity to put a strangle hold on the game, but Martin Brodeur came up big. The Devils could not find any room in the neutral zone to set up their power play. The Devils will have to find ways to score on the power play in order to extend the series.
The Kings also had opportunities in the third period to win the game, but Brodeur again played savor for the Devils. Anze Kopitar had a breakaway on Brodeur, it was similar to his breakaway in overtime of Game1, but this time Brodeur stopped Kopitar with dandy two pad stack.
This was the first time in 61 years that the first two games of the final have gone to overtime. In 1951, all five games between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens went into overtime. Toronto won four of five games in the extra session to win the Cup.
The Kings, with the win in overtime, improved their record to 4-0 in OT in the playoffs. The Devils record falls to 4-3, including 3-2 at the Prudential Center.
Jonathan Quick and Martin Brodeur again were the story of the game. The ageless wonder Martin Brodeur, and the young stud in Jonathan Quick put on a goaltending clinic. It was one for the ages. Each goalie made great game changing saves for their teams. However, for the second consecutive game the Kings found a way to beat Brodeur in overtime. The Devils will have to go back to the drawing board and try to find a way to beat Quick.
The Kings improve their record in Games 2s to 4-0. Also the Kings have outscored their opponents 34-15 in those games.
Game 3 is set for Monday Night at Staples Center.