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Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

After concussion, Gagne relishes shot at Cup

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 7:55 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Simon Gagne sat in his stall in the visiting dressing room Friday at Prudential Center for longer than he needed to and answered more questions about a potentially sensitive subject than some players might.

Simon Gagne
Left Wing - LAK
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 0
SOG: 5 | +/-: -1
It has been a long six months for Gagne, who missed the final 47 games of the regular season and the first 16 playoff games for the Los Angeles Kings with a concussion. It was not the first of his career -- and not the first that kept him out for a significant amount of time.

To be back in this situation, practicing with the team and preparing for his third game since returning from the injury and the Kings one victory away from claiming the Stanley Cup, was something to relish.

"To me, I take it as my last chance," Gagne said. "I'm at this point right now, and I've been in the League for 12 years. I'm always going to remember my first year in the League, losing a Game 7 here [with Philadelphia] against those guys. Being one game away from the Stanley Cup Final, you think you're going to have many years in front of you. Then 10 years after that, I had a chance to go in the Final. It is one thing to get there, but it is not guaranteed that you're going to win it. That's what happened in 2010 [with Philadelphia]. Having this chance this year, and being in that position it is the closest I've been. Is it going to be my last shot? Maybe not, but I'm going to approach it like it might be."

Roenick: Kings have to get back to their game

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 7:18 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Jeremy Roenick thought the Los Angeles Kings were going to go after the sweep and the Stanley Cup harder than they did in Game 4.

He was disappointed.

"The Kings had a 3-0 lead and they played it like they had a 3-2 lead," Roenick, an analyst for NBC Sports, told NHL.com. "You know what, you have to go for the jugular when you have a 3-0 lead and you're at home."

The Devils instead got the win in Game 4, bringing the series back to Prudential Center for Game 5 on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

For Roenick's thoughts on Game 5, on if the Kings can win the Stanley Cup in Newark and what the Devils have to do to stop that from happening, read this exclusive Q&A.

Weight: Devils have to continue aggressive play in Game 5

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 7:07 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Doug Weight - Special to NHL.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- The discussion is on the challenge of inching your way back into a series. The thing is, when you do inch your way back in, when you're able to win just one game, all of a sudden you fly six hours across the country and you find yourself back in your rink, where you have been a pretty darn good home team, and you've gained some momentum getting there.

The Devils have some more confidence now -- and they've created for the Kings, although it will never be admitted in that situation, a little bit of angst and doubt, a little bit of fear that can start creeping in.

It's just different when you're playing in the Stanley Cup Final. You have that silver thing in the box that will be in the building from here on out.

I can remember back to 2006 with Carolina, and as much confidence as I had in our team -- believe me, we were confident, resilient and we thought we were the best team in the world -- when you're up 3-1 and you lose that Game 5, you start thinking, 'Geez, if we lose again it's Game 7 and that's simply a shootout.'

Kings hope numbers continue to go their way

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 4:29 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Los Angeles Kings are glad that Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final is out of the way. Now they can get on with the business of winning the first championship in franchise history.

L.A. missed its chance for a sweep on Wednesday by losing 3-1 at home to New Jersey. But maybe that loss shouldn't have been a surprise -- after all, the Kings' two previous losses also came in Game 4s, and also at home.

But the Kings take a pair of perfect marks into Game 5 at Prudential Center on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS): They are 10-0 on the road this spring -- and 14-0 in every game that's not a Game 4, including a 2-0 mark in Game 5s. Overall, they are 14-11 in Game 5s, including 10-10 on the road.

Devils' top line still confident in ability to produce

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 3:30 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise got angry Friday afternoon.

Zach Parise
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 14
SOG: 83 | +/-: -5
The Devils captain clearly did not like the question from one of the reporters, a question that insinuated he and Ilya Kovalchuk are playing poorly in the Stanley Cup Final.

"Who said we're not playing well?" Parise replied bluntly, his blood clearly boiling.

When the reporter quickly clarified himself, asking instead if it will be possible for the Devils to complete a historical comeback against the Los Angeles Kings, from 0-3 hole to Stanley Cup champions in four games, without getting tangible results from the team's top two scorers, Parise stayed defiant.

"I think we're playing fine," he said. "We're just not scoring. If that's what you think is the difference between playing well and not playing well, that's your call."

Devils want to continue shifting pressure onto Kings

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 2:38 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- It's been 70 years since a team rallied from a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final, and Devils coach Peter DeBoer feels it's about time another team pulled off the feat.

"You know it's going to happen again. So why not us?" he said following the Devils' practice Friday. "I think that's the approach. You're not going to go 200 years without someone else doing it. So it's been long enough, it might as well be us."

The Los Angeles Kings -- as they've done in every series during the postseason -- took the first three games of this series, but the Devils fought back in Game 4 at Staples Center with a 3-1 victory. Game 5 will be played Saturday night at Prudential Center and offers the Devils a chance to become the first team to beat the Kings twice in one series during this postseason.

The Kings have been so dominant in these playoffs that they have yet to play a Game 6 and are 10-0 on the road. That's why the Devils feel winning at home Saturday could plant the seed of doubt the Canucks, Blues and Coyotes never could.

Devils pleased to see big guns come alive

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 7:55 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ilya Kovalchuk
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 11 | PTS: 19
SOG: 67 | +/-: -4
NEWARK -- The good news for the New Jersey Devils was that they scored three times in the third period of Game 4 in the Stanley Cup Final to extend the series for at least another game. The better news was who scored the three goals.

After getting goals from defenseman Anton Volchenkov in Game 1 and fourth-liner Ryan Carter in Game 2 before being shut out 4-0 in Game 3, the Devils finally got some offense from their top players to keep their season alive.

Perhaps the best news was that the Devils' top scorer, Ilya Kovalchuk, sealed the win by hitting the empty net in the final 20 seconds to complete the 3-1 victory in Los Angeles. Kovalchuk had gone without a point in the first three games while managing just five shots -- one less than he had in New Jersey's series-winning Game 6 victory against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Devils confident and composed following Game 4

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 7:16 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK -- For a team that needed a third-period rally just to avoid being swept in the Stanley Cup Final, the New Jersey Devils are cool and confident as they prepare for Game 5.

Zach Parise
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 14
SOG: 83 | +/-: -5
Martin Brodeur's goaltending and three third-period goals gave the Devils a 3-1 win at Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The Devils won by doing the things they say they've been doing the entire series -- and with some bounces appearing to go their way on Wednesday, their coach and players all see an opportunity to gain some momentum as they prepare for Game 5 at Prudential Center on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"We're playing fine. It's just the pucks not going in. But I think we're playing fine. I don't think we need to change anything about what we're doing," captain Zach Parise said after the team returned from L.A. on Thursday. "We're working hard, we're doing a decent job at spending time in the offensive zone. We just need to score -- then we don't have this conversation."

Loss to Devils adds perspective to Kings' run at Cup

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 5:27 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

Nobody said winning the Stanley Cup was easy. It's just that the Los Angeles Kings have made it seem that way.

The Kings have taken almost all of the suspense out of a Cup run by jumping out to 3-0 series leads in each round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That's what a party-crashing loss to the New Jersey Devils in Game 4 will do: Restore perspective.

"That's why you play series," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Thursday before the team departed for Newark, N.J., to play Game 5 on Saturday.

"Unfortunately, we have some spoiled people that think that everyone wins 16 in a row or something. A little confusing to me."

Outside of their three losses, the Kings have never trailed by more than one goal at any time during the postseason. They have trailed for a total of 143:32 in the playoffs.

Devils force Game 5 by sticking to the plan

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 11:00 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- The Devils' plan Wednesday night was simple.

"We wanted to make them jump on a plane and come to New Jersey," goalie Martin Brodeur said after New Jersey's 3-1 win in Game 4 at Staples Center. "We have to go anyway; might as well get a game over there."

The plan worked. Game 5 is Saturday night (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) in Newark, where there will be no change in strategy.

The Devils are still down 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final, still facing an uphill climb that only one team, 70 years ago, has accomplished in this round. But, they are also still alive because they worked for 60 minutes for the first time in the Final on Wednesday; because they never lost their composure, especially after Drew Doughty erased their first lead of the series after just 62 seconds -- and because they stared into the eye of the seemingly impenetrable goalie and found a way to put two shots past him.

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