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Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Mitchell's steadying influence has Kings close to first Cup

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 1:46 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Willie Mitchell has been playing hockey since before most of his teammates were born.

Willie Mitchell
Defense - LAK
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 3
SOG: 27 | +/-: 5
At 35, Mitchell is the elder statesman on the Los Angeles Kings. He's the wise veteran of more than 700 NHL games, and a steadying presence both on the ice as one of the team's top three defensemen and in a dressing room full of guys who haven't reached their 30th birthday.

He also, like all but three of his teammates, has not won the Stanley Cup. The Kings had their first chance to claim it Wednesday night, but a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils returned this Cup Final to the East Coast. Los Angeles will have its second chance to clinch the title in Game 5 on Saturday at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Kings Cup-clinching party put on hold by Devils

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 1:04 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES – In a crowded hallway near the Los Angeles Kings locker room, Chris Sutter explained to an usher who he was and maneuvered around the traffic. Chris, the youngest son of Kings coach Darryl Sutter, had a little girl and other family members in tow as they ducked into a private suite at Staples Center.

Family and friends, like the Stanley Cup, were ushered back to their respective quiet spaces after the Los Angeles Kings failed to bring the party to life and spring a city into bliss Wednesday.

The Kings were all set to get their hands on the Stanley Cup until the New Jersey Devils had the audacity -- and the tenacity in the corners -- to take Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, 3-1. Not far from that suite of family members, Dustin Penner said what a lot of people might have sensed.

Big saves from Brodeur key to Game 4 victory

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 12:58 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- All Martin Brodeur wants to do is his job. It's all he's really ever wanted to do.

If because he does it so well that means people are going to fawn over all of the spectacular saves he makes at key times in big wins, well that's just fine and he'll take the accolades. It still doesn't change him or his approach, which is just to be there for his teammates when they need him most, like in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final when his team was already in a 0-3 hole.

Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 13-8-3
GAA: 2.04 | SVP: 0.921
"They've been working so hard, so the least I could do is just give them a chance to win," Brodeur said. "If I'm doing that I don't really care if I affect the other team mentally. For me, it's all about my team and the way I play for them."

Brodeur, once again, played his best game for the Devils when they needed him to be great. He refused to let the Stanley Cup Final end Wednesday night at Staples Center, making 21 saves -- including a couple on breakaways -- to give his team life and let it finally beat the Los Angeles Kings. The Devils forced a Game 5 with a 3-1 win.

"He has to do that," Patrik Elias said, "otherwise we're done."

Henrique's cool, clutch play helps Devils stay alive

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 12:49 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Patrik Elias had to think for a few seconds after being asked if he had ever played with a rookie with as much maturity and composure as Adam Henrique.


Adam Henrique
Center - NJD
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 12
SOG: 36 | +/-: 10
16 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Elias has seen his share of talented rookies come through the organization -- Scott Gomez, Brian Rafalski and Brian Gionta are just a few. But after some brief yet careful thought, Elias had his answer.

"Probably not," Elias said. "That's his style of hockey, though. He's real calm, confident, makes plays and doesn't get rattled, doesn't get outside of his comfort zone, and that's great. This is a great experience for him. He's doing a hell of a job. He had a hell of a season. He's going to be part of this organization for a long time."

Henrique continued his clutch play Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final with the Devils facing elimination, scoring the winning goal with 4:31 left in the third period in a 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Pang takes look inside Kings' dominant penalty kill

Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 3:16 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Darren Pang - Special to NHL.com

The Los Angeles Kings have killed off 92.8 percent of power plays in the postseason. There are several reasons why their penalty kill has been so dominant.

No. 1, they really shrink the scoring area extremely well. They start in the middle and make sure that the shots are going to be taken from the outside. A large part of that has to do with team discipline. Jarret Stoll is a very good example of that. He's not the fastest skater in the world, but he has a really high hockey IQ for the penalty kill. He never ventures outside the faceoff dot. He's always on the inside of that dot and pushing the pass where he wants it to go.

Discipline, sticks in the lanes and stops and starts, I think, are the main ingredient to the penalty kill.

They also make adjustments on the fly and during games that are very good. John Stevens and Jamie Kompon, their assistant coaches, they are always tweaking, always looking at video. As an example against Jersey, you're focused on the one-timer from Ilya Kovalchuk. If you can make that pass as long as possible to Kovalchuk that has to go through a stick, then you'll take your chances on that one-timer. If they have a player the puck went through, meaning they're a patient, half-wall playmaker, then that would change the penalty killer, but really, the Devils don’t have that kind of player.

On precipice of title, Kings eager to get to work

Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 2:56 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Jarret Stoll sent a good-natured verbal jab to a teammate for a missed pass. Mike Richards gave a friendly nod to two local reporters as he headed for the locker room. There was the sly smile of Willie Mitchell as he took off his equipment.

The Los Angeles Kings welcomed Wednesday with optimism and small traces of emotion. While Tuesday was a time to answer the usual questions about winning the franchise's first Stanley Cup, there wasn't really time to think about it at the morning skate before the Kings faced the New Jersey Devils in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Few players get to experience game day in June. The Kings had almost full participation at their skate. The inimitable Dustin Penner put it into words.

"It's a different feeling," Penner said. "We've worked the whole season to get here. Some guys work their whole career. Today your dreams, or lifetime goals, stares you in the face. You have an opportunity now. You have four games to reach it. It's a pretty special moment that everybody, I think, will look back on, who hasn't been here before. And the guys who have been there can appreciate it to a greater extent."

Sutter family excited for Darryl's Stanley Cup success

Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 1:35 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Monday night, after picking up his son Lukas from the NHL Scouting Combine, Rich Sutter brought his family over to the Southern Alberta home of his twin brother Ron. That night, the twins who played a combined 32 NHL seasons watched their older brother Darryl Sutter and his Los Angeles Kings take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.

It's the latest chapter for one of hockey's most famous families, one that has seen six brothers combine to play over 5,000 NHL games and four of them serve as NHL coaches.

"Darryl and I are pretty close. We've gone through a lot together," said Brian, the eldest of the six Sutters who played in the NHL. "[We] played against each other for years, were captains of our teams, and coached against each other for years. It's exciting for him. Darryl has pushed the right buttons to get them to do the job."

Weight: Kings need to keep focus on game, not Cup

Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 9:17 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Doug Weight - Special to NHL.com

LOS ANGELES -- When the Kings won the two games on the road we talked about how they have to put that satisfaction aside and really grind through that feeling of starting to think about the Stanley Cup. Now, at 4 p.m. when that blue box comes rolling by your door, and you know the Stanley Cup is in the building, with you having a team on the ropes, the trophy within your grasp, it's really hard to get that out of your mind.

However, it's great when you have 20 guys in there and a coaching staff to keep reminding you to keep up with what has been positive, what we've been doing well. They have to keep going, have the same work ethic, if not harder. It is going to be the toughest one to get, and they have to have that mentality.

Flyers' Giroux wins Wanamaker Athletic Award

Tuesday, 06.05.2012 / 7:23 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- So how good a run through the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs did Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux have?

He hasn't played since May 6, had surgery on both wrists, got the casts off and still no one has scored more goals in the postseason than the eight he had in his 10-game playoff run. His 17 points remained the best in the League until New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk passed him in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He's still tied for third, with only Kovalchuk and Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar having more -- by just one point.

Claude Giroux
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 17
SOG: 36 | +/-: 2
Giroux was honored Tuesday by the Philadelphia Sports Congress with the Wanamaker Athletic Award, given annually since 1961 to the athlete, team or organization that has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and to the team or sport in which they excel. He's only the third individual Flyers player to win the award, following Bobby Clarke in 1974 and Bernie Parent in 1975.

The award was presented during a luncheon at the Crystal Tea Room inside the historic Wanamaker Building.

Devils' Henrique familiar with 0-3 deficit

Tuesday, 06.05.2012 / 6:39 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Adam Henrique has been here before.

During the 2010 OHL Playoffs, Henrique and the Windsor Spitfires were facing a 3-0 deficit in their best-of-seven series against the Kitchener Rangers. Henrique, along with Taylor Hall, Ryan Ellis and Cam Fowler, ripped off four straight wins to pull themselves from the abyss and eventually won the Memorial Cup.

"Four wins in a row isn't impossible," Henrique said Tuesday with the New Jersey Devils in a 3-0 hole in the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings with Game 4 set for Wednesday night at Staples Center.

"It was a couple tough breaks, a couple bad bounces, they got one from the red line," Henrique recalled about the 3-0 deficit he faced in juniors. "It's 3-0 all of a sudden, but we believed in ourselves. We knew we could come back. We got that first one out of the way, then it's 3-2, 3-3, Game 7. Then we got to the finals and sweep the finals. Sometimes it's a matter of getting that first win and getting on a roll."

Henrique's situation doesn't sound all that different than the one the Devils into which the Devils are staring right now.

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