The Los Angeles Kings are going to take their second chance at closing out the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night in Newark, where they will be trying to finish the season at a remarkable 11-0 on the road when they take on the New Jersey Devils.
This isn’t the first time that a shadow of some doubt has been cast over the Staples Center. The poor Kings fans have only seen their team going 5-3 this year at home, yet LA is still just one game away from bringing Lord Stanley’s Cup to Tinseltown for the first time. Game 4 was a frustrating one for the hosts. They never really dominated play like we have seen for a good chunk of this series, but there were large even strength chunks of game that almost felt like they were Kings power plays. They didn’t capitalize on any of those chances though, as the only goal came from Drew Doughty on the power play in the third period. Still, the one thing that there is no doubt about is the fact that LA still has the 3-1 series lead, and for a team that has been beaten just three times in the whole postseason, it seems like an impossible task for the Devils to win three games in a row to steal the Stanley Cup.
The Devils finally might have arisen. Ilya Kovalchuk got on the board for the first time in this series when he put in an empty netter in the dying seconds of Wednesday’s game, and you could see the relief on his face that he is finally off to mark after nearly four full games without a single point. Patrik Elias had the more important goal to get his Stanley Cup going by giving New Jersey the first goal of the game in the third period. Adam Henrique and Martin Brodeur were the heroes though, and that is why New Jersey’s season is continuing to this weekend. Henrique buried a shot past Jonathan Quick that no goaltender in the world would have stopped to give the Devils a 2-1 lead that they would not relent. Brodeur didn’t look 100% impressive, as he allowed a goal on 22 shots faced, but some of those saves were absolutely huge and in situations where Los Angeles was carrying all of the momentum.
Still, we have seen this script before. The media is going to try playing up the Devils and that they can still make this a series yet after all. But both times in the past that we have seen LA lose Game 4, it has come back and won Game 5. We’re not saying that it is an absolutely lock to happen at this point, but let’s be realistic here. The Kings shouldn’t be an even money bet by any stretch of the imagination.
Los Angeles Kings @ New Jersey Devils Game 5 Pick: Los Angeles Kings +100