Devils disappointed, but proud
LOS ANGELES -- As any locker room would be after coming so close to the ultimate prize, the Devils were downtrodden and frustrated after their 6-1 loss to the Kings in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
After falling into a 3-0 series hole, the Devils fought back to do what no team had done to the Kings throughout the postseason -- beat them twice in a series. It turned out that early hole was too much to overcome, but looking at the big picture, the Devils saw a silver lining in their season.
"We have to be really proud of what we accomplished," Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "Not just in this series, but in the whole playoffs, the whole year. We took down two of our biggest rivals, with the Flyers and Rangers. We made this a series after losing the first three games. It's definitely disappointing not to go all the way, but it's definitely a great season for the Devils.
"The boys played really hard and worked really hard and adjusted ourselves as good as anybody. We came a long way from not making the playoffs last year to challenging for a Stanley Cup. It's disappointing, but I'm really proud of what we accomplished as a group."
The Devils showed resiliency and had the confidence that they could be the second team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit in the Final. But a five-minute major penalty to Steve Bernier lead to three power-play goals in the first period for the Kings, who never relinquished control after that.
"We're proud of each other," forward David Clarkson said. "Is this a good feeling? No, it's probably one of the worst we ever had. It's been a fun ride, but it's too bad it's over."
"You don't give yourself a lot of room for error," Parise said. "We found ourselves in a pretty deep hole before we realized the Final started. It's hard. At the same time, we really felt like we could get back in this and force a Game 7. I think we can all look at each other and say we gave it our best. We really did. We just came up short."
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo