NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Bryce Salvador scored on a deflection off a defenseman and the New Jersey Devils derailed Los Angeles’ Stanley Cup coronation for a second time, beating the Kings 2-1 in Game 5 of the finals Saturday night.
Zach Parise ended a five-game goal drought on a rare mistake by goalie Jonathan Quick, and Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots to help the Devils end the Kings’ 10-game postseason winning streak on the road and 12-game run over the past two years, both NHL records.
Justin Williams scored for the Kings, whose once seemingly insurmountable 3-0 series lead has been cut to 3-2. Game 6 on Monday night in Los Angeles.
More importantly, the Devils have the Kings wondering what’s going for the first time in the postseason.
This marks the first time they have lost consecutive games this postseason, and the Devils are halfway up a mountain that only one other NHL team has climbed in the finals after losing the first three games.
Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs came back in a best-of-seven finals and won. Three years later, the Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the series, but they lost Game 7 to Toronto.
The Kings haven’t played terribly in losing the last two games, but the Devils have made the plays when it counted or gotten the breaks when they needed them.
Take Salvador’s winner, his first goal in seven games. His shot from the left point was deflected right in front of Quick, hit off the chest of Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and rebounded into the net at 9:05 of the second period. It was the second time in this series that a point shot by a Devils defenseman hit off Voynov and caromed past his goaltender.
This one turned out to be a winner because Brodeur stood tall the rest of the way and had one shot hit off the goalpost and had a goal by Jarret Stoll on a second-period power play waved off because he hit the rebound with his stick too high.
Brodeur’s biggest save might have been with 7.6 seconds to go in regulation when he stopped a slap shot by Mike Richards from the right circle.