Kings finish off Devils in dominating fashion
The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs can rest easy.
Their inconceivable comeback from 0-3 to Stanley Cup champions in the final series will go unmatched for another spring as the 2011-12 Devils’ season ended in the Staples Center last night.
The Devils were routed, 6-1, by the Kings in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. The Kings won the series four games to two.
Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis each scored two goals and Dustin Brown and Matt Greene added one apiece for the Kings, who won the first Cup in franchise history. Jonathan Quick made 17 saves and was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP.
Adam Henrique scored the Devils’ lone goal. Martin Brodeur made 19 saves.
The Devils are now 3-2 in five Stanley Cup final appearances dating back to 1995.
If or when they return to the league’s ultimate stage is in question. The Devils are $80 million in debt and had to accept a loan from the NHL midway through the year just to get through the season.
That followed co-owner Ray Chambers divesting his portion of the franchise in the aftermath of repeated clashes with owner Jeff Vanderbeek.
Commissioner Gary Bettman announced in his State of the Union Address before Game 1 that Vanderbeek was “restructuring” the debt, and published reports before Game 5 suggested an unnamed benefactor had been found.
The state of the franchise’s finances will determine whether the group of athletes that compiled a 102-point regular season can return intact.
Thirteen Devils who skated in Game 6 are unrestricted free agents, with Brodeur and captain Zach Parise being the two most prominent. Brodeur has said that he’s “leaning towards” playing in 2012-13 and the 40-year-old should be amiable to signing a short-term deal.
But uncertainty swirls around Parise. The 27-year-old is coming off his fifth 30-goal season and will be highly coveted this summer. Expected to be among the suitors are the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Parise’s hometown Minnesota Wild.
If Game 6 was the epilogue for the Devils’ dynasty, it was a wholly unfulfilling conclusion. They entered the first intermission trailing 3-0 due to power play goals off the sticks of Brown, Carter and Lewis following Steve Bernier’s game misconduct for boarding Rob Scuderi. The hit bloodied the Kings’ defenseman.
Carter’s second goal of the game 90 seconds into the second period to pushed the advantage to 4-0 and ended the season for all intents and purposes.
Henrique’s goal at 18:45 of the second cut the deficit to 4-1, but Lewis’s second of the game and Greene’s marker in a 15-second span late in the third for the final margin of victory.
Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.