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Devils' top guns fly high in Game 4

Friday, 06.8.2012 / 10:29 AM ET / News
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Devils\' top guns fly high in Game 4

NEWARK -- The good news for the New Jersey Devils was that they scored three times in the third period of Game 4 in the Stanley Cup Final to extend the series for at least another game. The better news was who scored the three goals.

After getting goals from defenseman Anton Volchenkov in Game 1 and fourth-liner Ryan Carter in Game 2 before being shut out 4-0 in Game 3, the Devils finally got some offense from their top players to keep their season alive.

Perhaps the best news was that the Devils' top scorer, Ilya Kovalchuk, sealed the win by hitting the empty net in the final 20 seconds to complete the 3-1 victory in Los Angeles. Kovalchuk had gone without a point in the first three games while managing just five shots -- one less than he had in New Jersey's series-winning Game 6 victory against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Kovalchuk finished the night with four shots and played his best offensive game of the series.

"It's important for a player's confidence, whether it's an empty-netter or there's a goalie in there," said Devils captain Zach Parise, who's gone five games without a point. "It's important for a player to get on the board and just feel better. So for us, that's going to go a long way when he's feeling good about his game."

If Kovalchuk's goal was encouraging, then Patrik Elias' goal to open the scoring in Game 4 was uplifting. The franchise leader in playoff goals, assists, and points, Elias scored his first goal of the Final and just his second in more than a month. The winning goal came from rookie Adam Henrique, another of the Devils' top offensive players who has struggled in this series.

"We know within the room we have the personnel to complete this comeback,'' said Henrique, who scored the series clinching goals in overtime against Florida in Game 7 and the Rangers in Game 6.

"There are a lot of people out there that don't think we can do it, but it really doesn't matter what anybody else thinks, it matters what we think in the room. We have to string together four in a row and every game is do or die. Every game is Game 7 for us and we have the confidence in the room we can do it. It will be tough but we are prepared to do it.''

Devils' coach Peter DeBoer hopes the trend continues for his top-line talent in Game 5 on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"I thought games 2, 3, and 4 we played some pretty solid hockey games. Good enough to win any of those three games. We just couldn't get the first goal, we couldn't get an overtime winner, it just wasn’t working," DeBoer said. "We need guys to start scoring. Just like a win, you hope one goal translates into some confidence and more [goals]. It can't do anything but help everybody's mindset."

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 69 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 62 25 13 3 38
P. Elias 63 11 21 -16 32
S. Gomez 52 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 61 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 68 11 12 -4 23
A. Larsson 58 3 19 3 22
A. Greene 76 3 18 3 21
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 56 6 11 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 28 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47