The Los Angeles Kings moved to within a win of their first Stanley Cup with a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, as goalie Jonathan Quick cemented his status as the Conn Smythe favorite with a 22-save shutout in his best performance of the series.
According to NBC, the Kings became the first NHL team to take 3-0 leads in four straight series, the first time that's happened since the league adopted the seven-game series format.
If history is any indication, the Devils are toast. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team to rally from a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final to win the title. Those Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, are the only teams to rally to win a series once down 3-0.
Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, who combined for the Kings' third goal — one of two scored by what had been arguably the worst power play in the playoffs — were members of that Flyers team that rallied to beat the Bruins. Their goal on Monday night was one chapter in a playoff fable for Kings hockey in Game 3: from franchise legend Wayne Gretzky dropping the first puck to the Kings thrilling a crowd that included everyone from Sidney Crosby to David Beckham to Al Michaels.
The stars came out to watch the Kings; the stars on the Kings, and a few of their grunts, didn't disappoint them.
The Kings took a 1-0 lead at 5:40 of the second period on a play that Devils goalie Martin Brodeur felt was controversial. Trevor Lewis sent a pass to Dwight King in the right circle, who fired on Brodeur. The Devils goalie appeared to have it under his left pad, but three whacks at the puck by King and then a shot by a trailing Alec Martinez forced it into the net.
It was Martinez's first playoff goal; David Clarkson and Marek Zidlicky were victimized on the backcheck.