The New Jersey Devils were down 3-0 in games to the Los Angeles Kings in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final and all hope appeared lost. Or it did until Wednesday when the Devils, behind future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur, squeezed out a 3-1 victory over the Kings to stay alive.
NEWARK, N.J. — There is a Peter Pan quality to New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur, a blend of old and young that makes him the perfect teammate to weather the ups and downs of a long hockey season.
The Devils were down 3-0 in games to the Los Angeles Kings in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final and all hope appeared lost. Or it did until Wednesday night when the Devils, behind future Hall of Famer Brodeur, squeezed out a 3-1 victory over the Kings to stay alive.
Afterward, Brodeur — who turned 40 earlier in these playoffs and played his 200th postseason game in the opener against the Kings — was light and relaxed. He is the antithesis of Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick, who is so tightly wound and reluctant to say anything of consequence only clichés dribble out … and even those don’t come readily.
Brodeur, by contrast, was laughing, telling jokes and issuing sly warnings to the Kings — that there is still business to be concluded. This was no different from the Brodeur you see away from the podium after a regular-season game in December.
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Game 5 is Saturday in New Jersey.
Coach Darryl Sutter said the Kings played better in their Game 4 loss than they did in their Game 2 victory in Newark.
“Differences? Missed opportunities and Brodeur’s play last night,” Sutter said Thursday before the team departed for New Jersey.
Said forward Trevor Lewis, who had one of the Kings’ best scoring chances: “He played really well. He stopped a few breakaways. We hit a couple posts. But he’s a great goalie. We know he’s going to do that.”
In many respects, the Kings — seeded eighth in the Western Conference — got their first real glimpse of the Devils in the elimination game. New Jersey was seeded sixth in the East, but in successive rounds took out No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Philadelphia and the No. 1 New York Rangers.
This is Brodeur’s fifth Stanley Cup Final, and already he has had his name engraved on the Cup three times.
Does winning one game make the Devils believe more?
“More than yesterday,” Brodeur said with a smile, adding that they would try to make it “miserable” for the Kings.