If the whole “avoid going down 3-0 and essentially losing the Stanley Cup” thing wasn’t enough motivation for New Jersey tonight, this puts it over the top — the Devils can be part of obscure NHL history!
History can be made in Los Angeles tonight. If the Devils win, it will be the 47th road win in the playoffs this season (road teams are currently 46-36). That would break the record set in 1987, when road teams went 46-41.
Ironic that this potential record would be set against the Kings, who’ve contributed greatly to the record by going a perfect 10-0 on the road.
As for 1987, that postseason was defined by a number of series where the road team dominated. The first-round series between the Islanders and Caps saw the visiting team win five of the seven games (including the Easter Epic, which the Islanders won in Washington in the fourth overtime.)
The Prince of Wales final was a six-game series between Montreal and Philadelphia where the road team won five times; the eventual Cup champion Oilers won seven away games en route to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Mug.
All that said, it’s going to be a tall order for the Devils tonight. They’ll need to beat a Kings team that’s lost just two games this postseason and need to do it under unfamiliar circumstances. The Devils will be playing outside the Eastern Time Zone for the first time since making a three-game swing through Western Canada that concluded with a 2-1 win in Winnipeg on Jan. 14.