Devils 2 Kings 1
- Last Updated: 6:56 AM, June 10, 2012
- Posted: 2:50 AM, June 10, 2012
The Devils are trying to make a miracle, and no one’s come this close in 67 years.
“We have a bunch of resilient guys who want to make history and win the Stanley Cup,” Miracle Man Martin Brodeur said after the Devils moved within two straight victories of the NHL’s greatest comeback in 70 years.
They’re taking the Stanley Cup Final back to Los Angeles for Game 6 tomorrow, thanks to last night’s 2-1 victory in Game 5 in Newark. Now trailing the best-of-seven series 3-2, they will be trying to tie the series they once trailed 3-0 and force Game 7 in Newark.
They believed in their comeback before last night’s victory. Now they’re struggling to contain their excitement.
“It’s just growing with every period and every goal we score,” defenseman Mark Fayne said.
The Devils are seeking to win four straight from a team for the second time in these playoffs.
“We want to win the next game, and we’re not looking at anything else,” Dainius Zubrus said of miracle-making. “Honest to God, no.
“That’s the only way we can do it.”
The Devils have already accomplished what only two teams have ever managed, win two games from a 3-0 hole in the finals — the 1942 Maple Leafs over Detroit, the only team ever to win the Cup from that abyss, and the 1945 Red Wings, who lost to Toronto in seven.
“We still have that same belief,” David Clarkson said. “We believe.”
By handing Los Angeles its first consecutive defeats of postseason, New Jersey snapped the Kings’ record 10-0 road start in the finals, and pushed L.A. beyond a fifth game for the first time in these playoffs.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter seemed testy afterwards when asked where pressure now resides.
“Are you cheering for the Devils or for the Kings? So you’re cheering for the Devils. I’m going to say the pressure’s on them because they’re the home team and they had 100-some  points, OK?” Sutter said.
The Devils, sixth seeded in the East, still need two victories for their fourth Cup, while the Kings need only one in the final two games of the season to become the first-ever eighth-seed to win the Stanley Cup.
“We’re not going to go away lightly,” Devils defenseman Andy Greene said.
“We’ll play our Game 7 again and see what happens,” Zubrus said.
The Kings opened with a fury, as if annoyed to have to make the cross-country flight to complete what they could have regarded as a formality. But the Devils took the lead with their first power play goal of the series at 12:45 of the first period. Parise victimized Kings goalie Jonathan Quick by stealing his clearing attempt behind the net and tucking it around the open right post.
“I went on the normal forecheck route I’ve gone on 1,000 times this year. He happened to misplay it and put it right on my stick,” Parise said of his first goal and point of the finals.
New Jersey’s lead lasted until Justin Williams scored at 3:26 of the second, a snapper through Fayne’s screen over Brodeur’s waffle.
But Bryce Salvador, the no-longer unlikely hero of these playoffs, scored what stood up as the winner, his fourth of postseason, at 9:05 of the second. At the left point, he shuffled for a shooting lane and his wrister went in off Kings defenseman Slava Voynov. Salvador did not score a goal while playing all 82 games during the regular season and had only two in his first 50 career playoff games.
Coach Pete DeBoer was asked if the Devils are a team that can make history.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “We’re just trying to win a Stanley Cup.”
If they do, they have.