Heading into his third consecutive elimination game of the Stanley Cup finals, Peter DeBoer said the pressure prior to Game 6 is no different than before.
“I think it’s the same feeling as when we were down 3-0,” he said after New Jersey’s pregame skate. “Like I said, I think the hockey world pretty much wrote us off, and I think we feel we’ve played with no pressure because of that.
“I don’t think that’s changed because all of a sudden it’s 3-2 now.”
DeBoer’s right in saying the hockey world wrote the Devils off…but to be fair, the hockey world was right to do it. Nobody expected this to get to Game 6 , and that isn’t a surprise — New Jersey is just the third club to win two straight after falling behind 0-3 in the Stanley Cup finals, and the first to do it since 1945.
(In ’45, Toronto led Detroit 3-0 before the Wings rallied to win three straight — only to lose Game 7. In 1942, Detroit led three games to none before Toronto ripped off four straight wins, for the first and only 0-3 comeback in Cup finals history.)
That said, the Devils keep insisting this isn’t about making history, but rather winning the Stanley Cup. The Kings, too, also aren’t interested in making history.
“Game 4 was a new situations for fans and a lot of players,” L.A. captain Dustin Brown said. “We have a lot more calmness about us today.
“I feel tonight’s the night for our team.”
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.