June 6, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) celebrates with left wing Zach Parise (9) after scoring an empty net goal during the third period in game four of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Devils won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

A Day in the NHL: Devils Beat Kings, Live to See Game 5

The Night that Was:

The Los Angeles Kings have not had trouble winning too many hockey games in the playoffs. In fact, they entered last night’s game with the chance to become just the second team to ever go 16-2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. A game the Kings have experienced difficulty winning though is Game 4, with their losses coming in Game 4 of the first and third round. The New Jersey Devils were hoping to make it three losses in Game 4s last night when the puck-dropped, but it was hard to determine who had the advantage over the first two periods. New Jersey outshot the Kings 8-7 in the first but the Kings seemed to carry the play, which was more evident in the second when they outshot the Devils 7-3. Jonathan Quick and Martin Brodeur stopped everything though, and it looked like Game 4 might head to overtime with no score. But the scoring-starved Devils got a much needed goal out of Patrik Elias 7:56 into the third when he tapped home a rebound off of the Bryce Salvador point shot. The victory was short-lived though, as Drew Doughty’s fourth of the playoffs tied things up quickly on the power play, just four seconds after David Clarkson was sent off for boarding. Things would go back and forth for the next eight minutes before the Devils’ hero, rookie Adam Henrique, scored his fourth of the playoffs to give them a 2-1 lead, one that Ilya Kovalchuk would extend to 3-1 with an empty-net goal to finally get him on the scoresheet this series. For Henrique his fourth goal of the playoffs was his third game-winner, and the only GWG not to come in overtime. Bryce Salvador finished the evening with two assists, while Kovalchuk’s goal was his first point since the Stanley Cup Finals began. Martin Brodeur and Jonathan Quick each made 21 saves.

New Jersey Devils 3 vs Los Angeles Kings 1 – Kings lead series 3-1

What’s on Tonight?

The Kings put their perfect road record on the line when they head to New Jersey for Game 5. Things get underway at 8pm Eastern.

The Injury Bug:

-Henrik Tallinder played his first game of the playoffs last night and first since mid-January. His absence was due to a blood clot in his left leg. He took Peter Harrold’s place in the Devils’ lineup.

News and Notes

-The Edmonton Oilers will enter next season with a new coach but not a new General Manager. The team announced yesterday that they came to terms with Steve Tambellini on a new deal.

-In other GM news, the Florida Panthers extended Dale Tallon’s stay with the team as well. Tallon’s overhaul of the team in the off-season led to Panthers’ first playoff appearance since the 1999/2000 season.

-Yesterday European hockey lost one of its trailblazers. Vladimir Krutov, a member of the Soviet Union’s famed KLM line, passed away at the age of 52. No cause was formally announced but it has been reported that Krutov was admitted to a hospital prior to Wednesday with bleeding in his stomach and live. He won two Olympic Gold Medals with the Soviets in 1984 and 1988.

-The Montreal Canadiens continued to re-shape their coaching staff yesterday. A day after Michel Therrien was announced as the team’s new Head Coach, Randy Cunneyowrth and Randy Ladouceur were relieved of their duties as assistant coaches. Cunneyworth had served as the interim coach after Jacques Martin was fired mid-season. Martin Lapointe will also be announced as the new Director of Player Development.

Playoff 3-Stars

1. Adam Henrique, F – NJD: 1 G, 1 GWG, 12/18 on faceoffs

2. Martin Brodeur, G – NJD: 21/22 SVS, W

3. Bryce Salvador, D- NJD: 2 A, +2, 20:17 TOI

Tags: Los Angeles Kings New Jersey Devils

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