Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Ranking 6 Most Important Players in Pivotal Game 6

Joseph BisacciaCorrespondent IJune 11, 2012

Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Ranking 6 Most Important Players in Pivotal Game 6

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    The L.A. Kings looked like an unstoppable force throughout the 2012 postseason. They took a 3-0 lead on the N.J. Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals and it appeared that they were going to cruise to an easy sweep. This was not the case.

    The Devils found a way to win the last two games of the series and are bringing the series back to L.A. for a pivotal Game 6.

    Here's a look at a few players, for both teams, that could make a serious impact in determining the outcome of this game and series.

Martin Brodeur

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    The soon to be 40-year-old is proving he still has something left in the tank. Martin Brodeur is the biggest reason that the Devils have won these past two games.

    They are going to need his presence to be felt in Game 6; especially in the hostile Kings crowd on the road.

    If Brodeur can keep this game close, there is an excellent chance that the Devils can send this series back to New Jersey for a Game 7.

Mike Richards

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    Mike Richards is kind of a microcosm of the past two games for the Kings. He has been a dominant force for the majority of the postseason, but he has disappeared as of late.

    If the Kings are going to end this thing and keep the Devils from having some serious momentum heading into a Game 7, they need Richards play-making ability.

    He has a knack for scoring points in bunches and the Kings will need everything they can get to beat Brodeur.

Ilya Kovalchuk

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    Ilya Kovalchuk is a lot like Richards in a sense. He is capable of scoring points in bunches and the Devils are going to need that.

    He is a fiery player and the Devils will need to feed off of that if they are going to send this series to Game 7.

    The Devils offense revolves around Kovalchuk, he needs to step up for them.

Jeff Carter

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    Jeff Carter's success often rests on the shoulders of Mike Richards. The two have been teammates since the were in the minor league system and in Philadelphia with the Flyers.

    The two have a great feel for one another. Usually when one plays well, they both play well. If they can both play a good game, I believe that the Kings will close the series out in Game 6. 

David Clarkson

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    David Clarkson is one of those "nasty" hockey players. He is one of the Devils best hitters and considered one of their more intimidating players.

    He is a good offensive player as well. He is fast and has good skill; skill that could generate some big plays for the Devils.

    If Clarkson can score a goal early or make a big hit, the Devils will set the tone they need to win this game and go back to New Jersey for Game 7.

Jonathan Quick

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    Jonathan Quick has been the best goalie on the face of the earth throughout the playoffs. He needs to have an incredible game for the Kings to not lose control of this series. 

    In hockey, the team with the hot goalie usually wins. This series is different though. 

    The Kings have a hot goalie, but the Devils may have the greatest goaltender in the history of the sport. 

Thoughts

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    This has been one of the craziest series I have ever seen. I thought the Devils were dead in the water, but here they are. They have an opportunity to send this series to a Game 7 back in New Jersey.

    This is likely to be a very fun game to watch and could generate some interesting headlines. I think that the way this series has played out, it is likely headed to a Game 7.