The New Jersey Devils staved off Stanley Cup defeat with their 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5.
Zach Parise and Bryce Salvador each lit the lamp for the Devils, and Marty Brodeur assumed his usual stellar form between the pipes.
The Devils used their relentless work rate and voracious forechecking to quell the Kings' attack. With an aggressive defense blanketing the Kings in their own end, Los Angeles' skill players struggled to find open ice.
The Kings have looked nearly flawless throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they have lost their way in the last two games. Two straight losses have this team sweating.
The energy is always amped up when Lord Stanley's Cup is in the building. Expect a raucous Game 6 crowd.
Let's take a look at every relevant piece of information surrounding the sixth page of this series.
Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA
When: Monday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 PT
Watch: NBC, CBC and RDS
Listen: KTLK 1150 AM (Kings) and WFAN 660 AM (Devils)
Live Stream: CBC HNIC
Key Injuries (per TSN):
Kings: Scott Parse (back)
What They're Saying:
Devils coach Peter DeBoer told The New York Times his thoughts on his team's resiliency.
We’ve been counted out right back to last summer in the preseason predictions, and the whole way through.The thing about our group is they believe we can win every game if we play the right way. It’s just a matter of stringing together a couple more here.
Los Angeles defender Rob Scuderi gave the Sacramento Bee his perspective on the series, and his team's mindset.
It's a series. As disappointing as it is, you have to put it behind you. I don't deny that we're disappointed, but I don't think we're at the point of panic.
Finally, Kings' winger Justin Williams told the Los Angeles Daily News why he believes the Kings have come up short in the last two games. Williams' goal in Game 5 wasn't enough to give Los Angeles a winning boost.
It's a game of inches, there's battles going on all over the ice that just us players see. We're losing just a few more than we're winning.
Player to Watch: Martin Brodeur
Brodeur is the Devils' backbone. Their style of play forces the Devils to lean on Brodeur's efforts in net.
New Jersey will need Brodeur's best effort in Game 6. The Kings are hungry, frustrated and eagerly awaiting their fourth, and final, Stanley Cup victory.
Who will have a better performance in Game 6?
Playing a dump-and-chase style has its benefits. It promotes aggressive forechecking, and it slows down talented players. Clogging the neutral zone has benefited the Devil defense, but they put a ton of pressure on Brodeur.
Brodeur stood up to the challenge in Game 5. He stood on his head at vital times and he prolonged the Devils' existence.
New Jersey needs Brodeur to do his best Game 5 impression. If he does, there's a good chance they will force one final frame.
Key Matchup: Zach Parise vs. Kings' Defense
Parise, when playing to his full potential, invigorates the Devil attack. He is an elite scorer with substantial two-way ability.
Game 5 started with Parise firing the opening salvo. It was his first goal, and point, of the series. This fired up his teammates and gave his team new life moving forward.
Who do you favor?
He may also have lit a fire under the Devils' powerplay unit. His goal Saturday night was their first powerplay goal in 16 opportunities against the Kings.
Players like Parise play a contagious style. He works hard, plays tough and is deadly around the net. He includes his teammates and he leads by example.
The Devils need Parise to penetrate the Kings' defense. Forcing Los Angeles to focus their efforts on him will open up opportunities for everyone else.
He is their leader for a reason. He must show it in Game 6.
Prediction: Devils 3, Kings 2