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Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Devils rue missed opportunities in Game 1

Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 12:39 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise sat his locker, head hung low, recounting how close he and his teammates came to grabbing a late lead Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night at Prudential Center.

Zach Parise
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 14
SOG: 71 | +/-: -5
With the score tied 1-1 early in the third period, the Devils' captain had a bouncing puck find his stick at the left side of the net with Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick far out of position at the opposite post. Parise didn't get all of the puck, but got enough of it to direct toward the net. However, instead of the Devils taking their first lead of the game, Quick got his stick on it.

Parise swept the puck into the net off the ensuing chaotic scramble in the crease, but he did so illegally -- with his glove.

What could Parise have done differently with such a golden opportunity?

"I could've put it in," Parise said.

Ference: Both teams should have confidence in goalies

Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 7:03 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The goaltending matchup has been analyzed and broken down again and again heading into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings.

At one end of the ice, there's 40-year-old Martin Brodeur, who has broken countless records and hopes to add a fourth Cup to his Hall of Fame resume. His counterpart, Jonathan Quick, is only 26 and had never made it past the first round prior to this spring, but he is putting up numbers that figure to have him in the Conn Smythe discussion at the end of this series.

Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who knows a thing or two about winning the Cup and playing in front of a championship-caliber goalie, says the defense corps of both the Devils and Kings have great reason for confidence.

Devils: Quantity plus quality is key to beating Quick

Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 3:13 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Prior to the Eastern Conference Finals, a reporter told Devils captain Zach Parise that the book on how to beat Henrik Lundqvist says you have to shoot high.

Parise responded, "Can I get a copy of that book."

Now he wouldn't mind getting his hands on the book on how to beat Jonathan Quick.

"We all knew how well Lundqvist was playing going into the series and it's similar with Quick," Parise said. "There's no secret he's been one of the best all year, as well."

The Kings goalie, one of the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy heading into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS), has been a focal point of the pre-series hype for good reason. He leads the NHL with a 12-2 record, 1.54 goals-against average and .946 save percentage through three rounds.

Despite differences, Quick, Brodeur have similar style

Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 2:16 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

When Jonathan Quick first came to the Los Angeles Kings, there were elements of Martin Brodeur in his game.

Quick survived -- often thrived -- on natural instincts and incredible athleticism in the beginning, reading and reacting as the game unfolded in front of him without a lot of the structure typically associated with the modern butterfly goaltender.

The same has long been true of Brodeur.

Preparation, fast starts help Kings avoid rust

Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:52 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- When the Los Angeles Kings take the ice at Prudential Center on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS), it will be their first game since wrapping up the Western Conference Final on May 22.

The Kings will have gone seven days between games, an eternity by hockey playoff standards, but it's also nothing new for them.

Rest and relaxation have become staples of the Kings' schedule this postseason, a result of winning two series in five games and sweeping another. The Kings had five days between games after beating the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, six days between games following a second-round sweep of the St. Louis Blues and now seven days off between eliminating the Coyotes in the conference final and starting the Final against the New Jersey Devils.

EA: Kings take first Cup in six games; Quick MVP

Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:14 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

Thirty teams were boiled down to 16 by the regular season. The past two months of playoff hockey have now trimmed that number down to two. When the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings face off Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) the final series of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final will finally be under way.

While it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen during the course of the next two weeks, EA Sports once again has taken its best stab at it with its NHL 12 Simulation Engine.

According to the computers, it's the L.A. Kings who will hoist the Stanley Cup at long last this year.

No simulation is flawless, but in the past EA has come awfully close. Having correctly predicted a championship for the Chicago Blackhawks two years and a remarkable 13 of 15 series played in the 2011 postseason, EA has an impressive track record.

Parise, Brown ready to make U.S. hockey proud

Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 9:54 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The 1999 Stanley Cup Final sticks in Devils captain Zach Parise's head because it was Mike Modano, his boyhood idol, winning his first and only Stanley Cup. That championship round between Dallas and Buffalo, played when Parise was 14 years old, sticks in his mind because of the controversy surrounding Brett Hull's Cup-clinching triple-OT goal in Game 6.

Zach Parise
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 14
SOG: 68 | +/-: -3
Nowhere in Parise's memory bank can he recall the history that Dallas' win made for hockey in the United States -- history that will be repeated in this year's Stanley Cup Final.

Derian Hatcher was the Stars captain, and the first U.S.-born captain to win the Stanley Cup. It will happen again this year with Parise (Minneapolis) and Kings captain Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y.) taking their teams into the Final, which starts Wednesday night at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

Greatest OT games in Final history

Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 8:12 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Nothing in sports can match the drama of a Stanley Cup Final overtime game. The desperation of both teams, the buzz in the crowd at each shot and save, the sheer euphoria of the winners – and the dejection of the losers – are like nothing in any other sport.

But even within the specialness that is overtime in the Final, some games stand out more than others – whether it's for the dramatic ending, the stakes involved or some combination of the two. Here are seven that stand out above the rest as we wait to see what the Kings and Devils have in store:

7. Penguins turn party poopers

The 20,066 fans who packed Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on June 2, 2008, were ready to celebrate. The Red Wings entered the night with a 3-1 series lead on Pittsburgh, and after a slow start in Game 5, they had overcome a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead with time running out.

The sound was deafening as P.A. announcer Bud Lynch announced that there was one minute remaining in the third period, with the packed house preparing to celebrate the Wings' fourth title since 1997.

Kings hope to join ranks of surprise Cup winners

Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 7:42 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

As the No. 8 seed in the West and the No. 13 finisher in the overall standings, the Los Angeles Kings weren't expected to do much in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs -- no team seeded eighth in either conference has ever won the Stanley Cup, and only one has gotten as far as the Final. Also, no team that finished lower than ninth in the regular-season standings has gone home with the Cup.

But after winning three rounds, the Kings have a chance to join the NHL's list of improbable champions -- teams that found a way to do the unexpected and were rewarded by capturing hockey's ultimate prize.

Here are eight teams that surprised a lot of people – maybe even themselves -- by ending up with the Cup:

1928: New York Rangers

The Rangers entered the NHL as an expansion team in 1926, and under the guidance of Lester Patrick finished first in the American Division in their inaugural season. They weren't as good in their second season, dropping to second in the division, but swept Pittsburgh and division-winning Boston to make their first Stanley Cup Final against the powerful Montreal Maroons. The 1926 Cup winners had ousted the archrival Canadiens in the other semifinal.

Kings' Kopitar poised for superstardom

Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 7:22 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Anze Kopitar’s first memory of the Stanley Cup was June 11, 1996 when, as an 8-year old boy in Slovenia, he woke up to a delightful gift -- Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final was still going on in South Florida more than 5,000 miles away.

Anze Kopitar
Center - LAK
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 15
SOG: 48 | +/-: 13
Kopitar was born in Jenesice, a Slovenian steel town near the Austrian border. Though he grew up in a place where no NHL player had ever been born, he was the son of a hockey player and learned the game at an early age.

"I don’t think my parents would have let me stay up. It is a six-hour difference, or a nine-hour difference from L.A., so having school the next day was definitely no chance for me," Kopitar said. "The one game that was I able to watch was the Florida-Colorado series when it went to a third or fourth overtime and I woke up early enough to see that. That’s pretty much the only one I remember from when I was really young."

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