The New Jersey Devils had every reason to be desperate going into Game 4 on Wednesday. After all, they were down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup finals. Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs have ever managed to hoist the Stanley Cup after losing Games 1 through 3.
So it’s not surprising that New Jersey had a strong game on Wednesday, especially in the third period. The Devils managed to earn a 3-1 victory and extend the series.
“They played with a little more desperation than we did,” Anze Kopitar confirmed, “and we have to correct that in Game 5.”
The danger with going up 3-0 is that you can be lulled into a false sense of security or get overwhelmed by the pressure of the expectations it comes with, but those are issues that almost every 3-0 team end up overcoming. On top of that, if anyone has experience with what to do when you take a 3-0 series lead, it’s the 2012 Los Angeles Kings.
They set an NHL record by taking a 3-0 lead in all four of their playoff series. They went on to surrender Game 4 in three of those series, but they haven’t allowed a series to go beyond Game 5. We’ll see if they can continue that trend when the Stanley Cup finals resume on Saturday.