The Los Angeles Kings will have to wait a little longer to hoist their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Wednesday evening at the Staples Center, New Jersey rookie Adam Henrique ruined the party with a late third-period goal that gave his team a 2-1 lead. Soon after, Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-netter and the Devils left town with a 3-1 victory.
The Kings now lead the series, 3-1, with Game 5 going Saturday in Newark.
—- This was the third time in the playoffs the Kings have failed to complete a sweep at home. They lost Game 4’s to Vancouver in the first round and Phoenix in the conference finals before following up each time with a road victory in Game 5.
—- The Kings won’t be matching the record for fewest defeats in the playoffs. They’ve now lost three times, once more than the 1988 Oilers.
—- The last time the Cup was hoisted by the home team was 2007 in Anaheim. Last year, the Canucks had a chance but lost to the Bruins in Game 7. The Red Wings had a shot in 2008 but lost to Pittsburgh in Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena before winning Game 6 on the road. Detroit had another opportunity in 2009, but lost Game 7 at home to the Penguins.
—- According to NHL PR, teams with a chance to win the Stanley Cup on home ice dropped to 40-20 (.667) since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939 and 6-8 (.429) since 2000.
—- Also per NHL PR, the Devils’ victory marked the 47th road win of the playoffs, setting the NHL record for one postseason. The previous record was set in 1987.
—- The Devils still haven’t scored on the power play in the finals. They went 0-for-3 tonight.
—- The Kings hit the post twice in the scoreless first period.
—- The Devils are still in a deep hole, but if they win Saturday…