Devils embracing chance at Stanley Cup comeback

Peter DeBoer.

A three games-to-one deficit should cause teams to be tense. It should cause teams to acknowledge the pressure surrounding the win-or-the-season-ends consequence. 
The Devils are facing that scenario heading into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final Saturday night at the Prudential Center. Instead of feeling pressure, they are embracing the opportunity to make NHL history.
“Why not us?” Devils head coach Pete DeBoer asked rhetorically when the topic of becoming the second team in NHL history to win the Cup after falling behind 0-3 in the Stanley Cup final was brought up during his media availability Friday afternoon at the Prudential Center.
“Our focus hasn’t wavered,” DeBoer said. “Our guys believe we can win three or four games in a row. We’ve had [three- and four-game winning streaks] — I think — from kind of the midpoint of our season on. It’s part of our personnel, part of our leadership in our room. A lot of it is on [Martin Brodeur and] how he plays. They believe. We’re not done until they tell us we can’t play anymore.”
The Devils forced Saturday night’s Game 5 by spoiling the Kings’ Cup coronation Wednesday with a 3-1 win. Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique and Ilya Kovalchuk scored for the Devils and Martin Brodeur was spectacular in making 21 saves.
Most importantly, the goals were concrete proof of what the Devils’ coaches have been emphasizing to their players: Shoot the puck and goals will come. Get to the front of the net for rebounds. Get in Kings goalie Jonathan Quick’s line of sight.
The Devils had 45 shot attempts in Game 4. Elias’ backhand rebound goal of Bryce Salvador’s shot 7:56 into the third gave the Devils a 1-0 lead — their first in the series.
“We’re doing good things,” Clarkson said. “We’re getting on the forecheck; we’re creating offense. We found a way [in] the last game to get a couple by him. That’s what we have to do — get it on the net, get in front of him and make plays.”      
Added DeBoer: “Even when we’re losing, even when [New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik] Lundqvist or Quick [has shut] us out, the opportunities [were] there. I think they believe that. But there’s no doubt that a win changes your mindset and relieves that pressure that you’re finally getting rewarded for honest work.”
The Devils also feel that Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac and Zach Parise are overdue to break out. The Devils’ three best offensive players finished with a goal and an assist for two points in Game 4. They had nine shots on goal and a plus-three rating.
“I think they’re very close,” DeBoer said. “They recognize that. If they weren’t getting chances, I’d be concerned. They easily could have a couple goals each and Quick is a big factor in that.”
Quick, who should win the Conn Smythe Award no matter how this series ends due to his stellar play throughout the playoffs, has a 1.00 goals against average and a .958 save percentage against the Devils. He has made 91 saves on 95 shots on goal against the Devils.
“It was open,” Adam Henrique said of his game-winning goal Wednesday night. Henrique beat Quick with a shot high to the goaltender’s stickside.
“The puck came across the ice pretty fast,” Henrique said. David Clarkson set up Henrique with a cross-ice pass that the center kicked to his stick blade before whipping the shot that was the rookie center’s third game-winner in the playoffs. “I knew there might be some space, short-side high, and I was trying to get it there. But on our first goal, a rebound, and Patty was right on the ice. So we got to keep getting pucks to the net, bear down on our chances and execute.”

Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter
@DenisGorman. Metro will bring you complete Game 5 coverage online Saturday night.


Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.


VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.


New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.


Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…


Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.


MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.


James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…


Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…


Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400


This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…


Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…


Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…


Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…