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Devils' top guns fly high in Game 4

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 10:29 AM / 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 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51

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