x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

NHL: Stanley Cup lifeline for Devils as they avoid sweep

Devils record 3-1 victory in Los Angeles to cut series lead and keep alive faint hopes of comeback.

New Jersey Devils' Adam Henrique scores against Los Angeles Kings
New Jersey Devils' Adam Henrique scores against Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES // New Jersey Devils have kept alive their slim hopes of Stanley Cup success after beating Los Angeles Kings 3-1 to avoid a clean sweep.

Adam Henrique scored the game winner with 4:31 left in the third as the New Jersey Devils cut the Kings' series lead to three games to one.

Henrique took a pass off his skate and kicked it up to his stick all in one motion for the shot, beating Kings' goalie Jonathan Quick.

"There is no margin for error for us," said Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. "It is tough but we live to fight another day so now it is fun."

Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias also scored for the Devils who will host game five Saturday at the Prudential Center arena in New Jersey.

"We wanted to have one more game for our fans and hopefully we can win and come back to Los Angeles," Brodeur said.

Elias opened the scoring 7:56 into the third period from the side of the net, getting a rebound in close and beating Quick who was out at the top of his crease and couldn't recover to make the save. It was the fifth goal of the postseason and first of this series for Elias.

Just one minute later, the Kings tied it up 1-1 on a powerplay goal by defenceman Drew Doughty after a controversial penalty call on Devils forward David Clarkson.

Clarkson was given a two minute penalty for boarding Kings Dustin Brown and Los Angeles wasted no time capitalising as Doughty's long shot from point beat Brodeur who was screened and never saw the puck.

Doughty's goal came just four seconds after Clarkson was penalised for his hit on Brown who appeared to embellish the severity of it.

"We were really patient and we played solid hockey," Brodeur said. "We killed penalties, stuck with it and we were able to score some goals."

The Devils have won three Stanley Cups in their franchise history, but they'll have to engineer an improbable playoff rally to earn their fourth crown.

Only three teams in NHL history have rebounded from 3-0 deficits to win a series and the only club to do it in the NHL championship series was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who came from behind to beat Detroit.

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