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Kings aim to clinch Cup in New Jersey
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will get a second chance at clinching the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history when they visit the New Jersey Devils for tonight's Game 5 at the Prudential Center.
The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead in this best-of-seven series, but faltered when they had a chance to secure the Cup in Game 4 on home ice. Instead, the Devils were able to stay alive with Wednesday's 3-1 victory in Los Angeles. The setback dropped the Kings to 16-3 in this postseason and all three of their losses have come in Game 4s at home with a chance to sweep.
L.A. was trying to become the first team since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings to earn a sweep in the Stanley Cup Finals, but Adam Henrique's goal with 4:31 to play stood as the winner for New Jersey.
The Devils hadn't held a lead in the series heading into Game 4, but they used 21 saves from Martin Brodeur and goals from Henrique, Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk to send the series back to New Jersey for tonight's battle.
"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 rolling."
New Jersey still has a big hill to climb to win its fourth Cup as only three teams have crawled out of a 3-0 deficit to win a series in NHL history. 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. A win this evening would not only clinch the Cup for L.A., but the Kings would also set a new league record for most road wins in a single playoff year.
Jonathan Quick allowed two goals on 23 shots on Wednesday, while Drew Doughty scored the lone goal of the game for the Kings, who are looking for their first championship since entering the league as an expansion team for the 1967-68 season. L.A. is also trying to become the first No. 8 seed to win the Cup.
"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."
New Jersey won Game 4 despite continuing to struggle on the power play. The Devils went 0-for-3 on the power play on Wednesday and have not scored on the man advantage in 15 chances in the Cup Finals.
All told, the Devils are 6-4 as the home team in this year's playoffs. If New Jersey wins tonight, then the clubs will meet for Game 6 in Los Angeles on Monday.
This year's Cup Finals marks the first-ever playoff battle between the Kings and Devils and the teams only met twice during the 2011-12 regular season. New Jersey and L.A. faced each other twice in October and the Devils won both contests.
06/09 10:36:29 ET