Devils heading back to LA after claiming Game 5
By Tom Canavan ,AP
June 11, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
NEWARK, New Jersey -- Bryce Salvador scored from a deflection off a defenseman as the New Jersey Devils derailed Los Angeles' Stanley Cup coronation for a second time, beating the Kings 2-1 in Game 5 of the NHL finals Saturday.
Zach Parise ended a five-game goal drought with a rare mistake by goalie Jonathan Quick, and Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots to help the Devils end the Kings' 10-game postseason winning streak on the road and 12-game run over the past two years, both NHL records.
Justin Williams scored for the Kings, whose once seemingly insurmountable 3-0 series lead has been cut to 3-2. Game 6 is Monday night in Los Angeles.
“We survived out there,” Brodeur said. “I don't think we played our greatest game, but we found a way to win. These are important games to win, especially at home knowing these guys play really well on the road.”
More importantly, the Devils have the Kings wondering what's going for the first time in the postseason.
This marks the first time they have lost consecutive games this postseason, and the Devils are halfway up a mountain that only one other NHL team has climbed in the finals after losing the first three games.
Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs came back in a best-of-seven finals and won. Three years later, the Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the series, but they lost Game 7 to Toronto. Those were the only other two teams to come back from 0-3 to force a Game 6 until the Devils.
“It's a difficult thing to get yourself ready for games like that,” Brodeur said. “Now it's been two (must-win) in a row. It takes a lot out of you but it is worth it. I think that's what the guys have been concentrating on all day, leaving nothing out there.
“Now we are going to L.A. again to try to ruin the party again,” the 40-year-old three-time Cup winner said. “They are so close to winning the Stanley Cup that I am sure it is getting to them a little bit, having all these chances and not being able to capitalize a little bit. We're looking just to stay alive.”
The Kings haven't played terribly in losing the last two games, but the Devils have made the plays when it counted or gotten the breaks when they needed them.
Take Salvador's winner, his first goal in seven games. His shot from the left point was deflected right in front of Quick, hit off the chest of Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and rebounded into the net at 9:05 of the second period. It was the second time in this series that a point shot by a Devils defenseman hit off Voynov and caromed past his goaltender.
This one turned out to be a winner because Brodeur stood tall the rest of the way and had one shot hit off the goalpost and had a goal by Jarret Stoll on a second-period power play waved off because he hit the rebound with his stick too high.
Brodeur's biggest save might have been with 7.6 seconds to go in regulation when he stopped a slap shot by Mike Richards from the right circle. However, there was no overwhelming celebration from the home team. Slaps on the pads, a few head nods, then it was off to the locker room.
The Kings meanwhile, heads down, made a bee line for their locker room.
Quick said the losing streak hasn't changed the way the team feels. It's the same as it was after winning three in a row.
“It's the time of the year, you're going to lose games, you're going to win games,” Quick said. “It's the same as after we swept St. Louis, same as after we beat them three in a row. You stay right here, you don't get here, you don't get there.”
As the crowd filed out, again to the 1984 Bruce Springsteen hit, “Glory Days,” the chants of “Mar-tee! Mar-tee!” were loud and long.