Devils vs. Kings: Game 3 Highlights, Twitter Reaction and Analysis
The Los Angeles Kings are just one win away from the franchise's first Stanley Cup since joining the NHL as an expansion team in 1967.
After beating the New Jersey Devils by identical 2-1 scores in the first two games of the series, the Kings won Game 3 in much more convincing fashion, manhandling the Devils in virtually all aspects of the game.
The Kings jumped out to a 1-0 lead 5:40 into the second period when Alec Martinez was able to hammer a puck under Martin Brodeur's left pad after a scrum in front of the net that was made possible by a Jonathan Quick denial on a Devils two-on-one.
The second goal came at the 15:07 mark in the second period, and the opportunity was created by none other than Anze Kopitar, the man who notched the Game 1 winner. He sprung a rush into the Devils zone with a perfect pass to Justin Williams on the right side, who then dropped the puck off the boards behind him to Dustin Brown, who fed Kopitar for a one-timer to give the Kings a two-goal lead.
Then the Kings began to pour it on. Goal No. 3 came on the power play and was aided by Willie Mitchell, who snatched the puck out of the air right before it went out of the offensive zone. That led to Mike Richards skating in behind the net and feeding Jeff Carter out in front for Carter's second goal in two games.
This one got away from the Devils in the blink of an eye, as the Kings were quickly on the attack after the third goal. Williams then beat a defender and put the puck under Brodeur's right arm off his own rebound. The fourth tally of the game resulted in the "Marty" chants at the Staples Center rising to previously unreached decibels.
Tweets of the Night
Confidence is key.
Once their sweep of the Devils is complete, Kings will announce they coasted through the playoffs using the Staples Centre's "Easy Button."— jrwendelman (Junior) (@warwalker) June 5, 2012
Writer and analyst Adam Schein agrees that this was an embarrassing performance by the Devils.
What a horrible no-show by the Devils. Kings on magical ride. Can the league have the Rangers pinch hit for game 4?— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) June 5, 2012
Devils fans could use some comic relief after this loss.
Much to the chagrin of the Devils, the Kings' official Twitter page knows its team owns the power play in this series.
Kings kill another Devils power play, thats old news though right?— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 5, 2012
Grades for Key Kings Players
Jonathan Quick: A+
In a city that is powered by stars, Los Angeles has its newest one in Jonathan Quick. The 26-year-old American netminder proved yet again why he is the playoff MVP for the Kings. He made save after save in this one, keeping the Devils off the board for 60 minutes.
In the Stanley Cup Final thus far, Quick has yielded one goal off a defenseman's back and one off a deflection. He's yet to let up a goal off a stick, and there's no reason to think Game 4 will be any different, as the Kings will be going in for the kill.
Anze Kopitar: A
Kopitar was all over the Staples Center ice. This was as good of a performance as we have seen out of anybody in these finals. He was great on the rush all night and attacked the net better than anybody on the ice for either side.
He made Zach Parise his personal whipping boy and gave the New Jersey defense fits all night. He finished the night with one goal, one assist and at plus-one in 19:32 of ice time.
Grades for Key Devils Players
Martin Brodeur: D
Brodeur had a brutal night in net and definitely wasn't on his game for this one. It's not often that you see a goaltender as good as Brodeur get taken behind the woodshed like he did.
It didn't help that the Kings were very much superior and controlled possession throughout Game 3. Don't be surprised if the Devils come out and roll over in Game 4.
Zach Parise: D
The only time Parise was visible in this contest was when he was getting roasted by Kopitar and the rest of the Kings lineup. He registered four shots on goal, but they were hardly threats, as Quick had a comfortable hold between the pipes all night.
If the Devils are going have any chance at coming back in the series, they're going to need one heck of a performance from Parise in Game 4.
Deciding Factor: L.A.'s Penalty Kill
The Kings killed off all six power plays, and that was their clear-cut advantage. The Devils didn't get anything done with a man advantage all night and couldn't get anything going on the forecheck either.
During a second-period power play, the Kings spent just as much—if not more—time in their opponents' zone as the Devils. That simply cannot happen if you're New Jersey.
Just a few minutes after that same power play, Kopitar ripped a one-timer past Brodeur, and it was all downhill for the Devils from there. Even the fans knew it, as they were relentless with their "Marty" chants throughout.
Game MVP: Jonathan Quick
There's not much more we can say about this guy after he stopped all 22 shots. If the Kings are able to close this one out and take home the Stanley Cup, you'll see Quick hoisting the Conn Smythe Trophy on top of Lord Stanley's ever-coveted Cup. There's no doubt about that.
The Kings came into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed and have ridden Quick all the way to a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
This was a demoralizing loss for the New Jersey Devils. No matter what they tried, the Kings just kept coming at them with relentless pressure.
Can the Devils become the first team since 1942 to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals?
The series stays in Los Angeles for Game 4 on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Kings are up 3-0 and, again, it wouldn't be a shock if the Devils come out in Game 4 and get absolutely dominated by their superior opponents.
There's not much the Devils can do to get back into this series with Quick between the pipes and the Kings offense firing on all cylinders.
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