NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
STANLEY CUP FINALS
Kings lead Series 2-0
I - LAK 2; NJD 1*
II - LAK 2; NJD 1*
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Los Angeles Kings
Some Left Coast Arena
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: For the Brick City Demons, Danger Lurks in the City of Angels.
Look what the Kings did to the Devils..., again. Two games, two goals, two overtime losses, - all too familiar. For a second straight game, Los Angeles sandwiched the Devils' (third period) lone goal, with an opening goal in the first period, and a finishing goal in overtime. And now the Devils are down 2-0, going away.
Suddenly, the Kings are making the Devils look like New Jersey made the Rangers look in the Conference Final. New Jersey's forecheck is sputtering, and suddenly, they are now experiencing a drought of goal scoring. Anton Volchenkov and Ryan Carter have the Devils' only two goals.
In Game One, the Devils were limited to seventeen shots on goal. In Game Two, New Jersey practically doubled their output by taking thirty-three shots on goal. But they got the same results each time. Meanwhile, Martin Brodeur has been vintage, if not brilliant.
So where do the Devils go from here? The answer is Los Angeles. They must go to the west coast and win at least one game so as to bring the series back to Newark. If not, the Kings will lift the Cup on their own ice. But if there is one singular player taking the ice tonight, who is best prepared and experienced enough to get his team back in this series, it is Martin Brodeur. All they need to do is win tonight. And he is certainly capable of stealing a game; even at forty years old.
Having only surrendered one goal in regulation time in each game, there's only so much else Brodeur can do. Unless Zach Parise and his line can muster some points, unless Ilya Kovalchuck can turn up his game again, unless the Devils start getting multiple goals again, like they did against Florida, Philly,and the Rangers, and unless they get that forecheck grinding again, they will be facing elimination heading into Game Four.
It's not like the Devils are getting thoroughly out-played, or out-classed. They are not. But they could use a break or two.