In two of the first three rounds in these playoffs, the New Jersey Devils lost Game 1. Both times, against the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers, the Devils came back to win Game 2 (on the road both times). So the Kings know they will get a tough game from the Devils in Game 2, and both teams know they probably can’t put too much stock into what happened in Game 1.
By all accounts, neither team was really satisfied with the way they played in Game 1. The Devils had a tentative start, and the Kings weren’t happy with the way the game got away from them at times in the last 25 minutes or so of regulation. So even though the Kings pulled out the victory in overtime, Jeff Carter and Jonathan Quick came away with great respect for the Devils and know the Kings will need to be much better in Game 2…
JEFF CARTER: “I thought they played as hard as anybody we’ve seen in the playoffs so far. They’ve got a great forecheck. They get on you quick. They’ve got a lot of speed up front, with their forwards. They close quick and they apply a lot of pressure. I expect them to be better in the next game.’’
QUICK: “They’re great on the forecheck. They create a lot of speed in the neutral zone, and those are two of the biggest areas that we need to take away in order to have success. … They’re going to come out and fight hard. We’ve got to bring the game that we know we can bring. We didn’t bring it last night. I don’t think they brought theirs either. I think the pace is going to be a little quicker and maybe a little more physical. We’re going to do our homework and watch tons of video and be as prepared as possible.’’
On the Devils’ side of things, not surprisingly, they’re talking of a better start. The Kings got the better of the first period in Game 1, and the Devils are intent upon not letting that happen again, as Ryan Carter explained.
RYAN CARTER: “We kind of sat back, waited to learn them a little bit. That obviously is a mistake. We should have gone out there and played our game. We’ll … watch the video, learn from it. They’re a good group. They’ve got some strong D, obviously a good goaltender. We got to find ways to keep the puck away from the goaltender, get our forecheck going, get back to our game. I think we’ll learn quite a few things from that last one.’’