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Kings take second crack at topping Devils for Cup

by Dan Rosen

(Los Angeles leads best-of-seven series, 3-1)


Big Story:
The Kings will take their second shot at winning their first Stanley Cup. Fittingly, they can do it on the road, where they are perfect so far through the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Los Angeles is 10-0 away from Staples Center. A win on Saturday will not only be good enough to win the Cup, but it'll set a new NHL record for most road wins in a single postseason. The Devils will simply try to do what they did Wednesday night in L.A. -- live to see another day, another game, another road trip back to California.

Team Scope:

That the Kings didn't close out the Devils in a sweep isn't all that surprising considering Game 4 has been by far their worst of these playoffs. They are now just 1-3 in Game 4s this postseason. They are remarkably perfect at 14-0 in Games 1, 2, 3 and 5.

"It's the Stanley Cup Final here," forward Trevor Lewis said. "It's pretty tough to sweep."

The Kings, though, have done an excellent job this postseason at moving on from their rare losses. That's the plan again, and it's easy enough to execute because they still are not under much pressure with a two-game lead in the series.

"We just don't let any distractions bother us. We go in, we play our game," forward Justin Williams said. "We know the Prudential Center is going to be rocking, just like when we had to go back to Phoenix and play Game 5, go back to Vancouver and play Game 5. The arenas are rocking and we'll have to be ready for them."

They feel they finally got some breaks and bounces in Game 4 after getting none through the first three games of the series. They also hope that they might have planted a small seed of doubt into the minds of all the Kings players, specifically goalie Jonathan Quick, who for the first time all series gave up two goals in a game. They both came in the third period.

Patrik Elias got off the schnide with his first goal in five games. Adam Henrique scored the winner, his third huge goal of the playoffs, including his OT goals in Game 7 against Florida and Game 6 against the Rangers. Ilya Kovalchuk scored into an empty net.

"There is no doubt that a win changes your mindset and relieves that pressure that you're finally getting rewarded for honest work," coach Peter DeBoer said.

It's unlikely that New Jersey will have any lineup changes for Game 5 after DeBoer made two significant ones for Game 4. Petr Sykora played for Jacob Josefson and Henrik Tallinder played his first game since Jan. 17 in place of Peter Harrold. DeBoer said both Sykora and Tallinder inserted a shot of energy into the lineup, and the hope is that it is still there in Game 5.

DeBoer specifically said Tallinder was "outstanding."

Who's Hot:
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has two goals in the last three games and points in the last five.

Injury Report:
Neither team is reporting any injuries at this time, but then again, it's the Stanley Cup Final so they wouldn't report any injury to begin with. Regardless, all the regulars are expected to play in Game 5.

Stat Pack:
The Devils are 9-1 in Games 4-7 this postseason after going 4-7 in Games 1-3. … The last four teams to win the Stanley Cup have done it on the road. … The Kings are 3-for-6 on the power play in the last two games. They were 6-for-77 in their first 16 games of the postseason. … The Devils' win in Game 4 was the 47th road victory in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That's a new record for most road wins in a postseason.

Puck Drop:
"Someone said the '42 Leafs (were the last team to come back from 0-3 to win in Cup Final). You know it's going to happen again, so why not us?" DeBoer said. "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."

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