For the first 14 minutes of the first period, the New Jersey Devils were like lawnmowers on skates. Their forecheck mowed through the Kings and generated consistent pressure. The Kings’ scoring chances in the first period were limited mostly to counter-attacks, and goalie Martin Brodeur was more than capable of stopping them. Slowly, though, the blades started to dull. The Devils failed to capitalize on a glorious power-play chance late in the first period, then fell behind less than six minutes into the second period. By the time the Kings dinged the Devils’ strong penalty kill for two third-period goals, the Devils were in a world of hurt. They trail 3-0 in this series, but this is a veteran group that won’t fold the tent. At this point, the Devils’ focus is narrow. They will try to send the series back to New Jersey and make the Kings less comfortable. The Devils have done a lot of things well in this series, but the bottom line is, they don’t yet have anything to show for it. Here’s how The Star-Ledger and The Record covered last night’s game, followed by some additional postgame quotes from the Devils…

The Star-Ledger’s Devils coverage

The Record’s Devils coverage

—–

COACH PETER DEBOER

(on whether the 5-on-3 advantage was the turning point of the game…) “Yeah, I mean, sure. We need to get the first goal out, absolutely. We had some power-play opportunities there. We need to score one. Credit to them. You know, their goalie made some big saves early. We couldn’t get one.’’

(on whether he thought the whistle should have blown before Alec Martinez’s goal…) “Yeah, I mean, you know, again, that’s a momentum‑changing call at the time. I hope he’s right. That’s an awful big call if you’re wrong. I mean, my opinion on it, as soon as you lose sight of the puck, you know, the whistle’s supposed to go. Even if you don’t get it to your mouth, your intent is to blow it when you lose sight. Should be dead puck, so… I’d like to hear an explanation for it. I didn’t get that opportunity.’’

(on whether he was disappointed with the Devils’ response to that goal…) “No, I’m not disappointed in our team. We played right to the final buzzer. I don’t care what the scoreboard said. We battled right to the buzzer, and we’ll do the same on Wednesday night.’’

(on whether he needs more from his top offensive players…) “Well, I think that’s pretty obvious. Of course, we need more goals. Is that a question or a statement? Are you giving me your opinion on what’s going wrong? Next question.’’

(on any frustration, and whether he thought the Devils’ power play was getting better…) “I don’t know about better. We created some real good chances early. He made some saves. The frustrating part is, you’re creating some quality chances, you’re getting some quality shots, and they’re not going in. Again, you have to handle that frustration the right way.’’

(on whether the Devils’ stars or struggling or whether Jonathan Quick deserves the credit…) “You have to give their goalie and their team some credit. You know, he’s made some saves. We put up the same number of chances against Philly, the Rangers, we’re getting some goals. We’re not this series. That’s a credit to them. It’s not that our guys aren’t trying or not doing enough. They’re shutting the door. We’ve got to find a way.’’

—–

ILYA KOVALCHUK

(on the game…) “Disappointed, obviously. We got a lot of good chances, couldn’t score. They scored. They won. We are going to fight through the end anyways. … It seemed like whoever would score first would win the game. We got some great opportunities, a couple chances, but couldn’t score, crossbar. So what are you going to do? We’ve just got to work on that a little bit more and make sure we’ll be ready.’’

(on Game 4…) “We will be a desperate team (in) Game 4 because our backs are against the wall. We can’t lose anymore. We are going to fight through the end, obviously. … It’s never easy. … We’re going to fight anyway, (to the) last second.’’

—–

ZACH PARISE

(on how the Devils will respond in Game 4…) “Well, we don’t have a choice. We’ve got to have our best game in Game 4. That’s the only way we can approach it.’’

(on any frustration in the Devils’ game…) “Even when we had our good opportunities, I don’t think we were getting frustrated throughout the game. I mean, it’s frustrating now when we come in here and we got shut out, but during the game we weren’t frustrated. We felt like we liked the way we were playing and we felt like we were going to get one, but it just didn’t happen. … It’s frustrating when everyone’s been playing well and we find ourselves down three-nothing.’’

(on trying to rally from a 3-0 deficit…_ “We’re not going to quit until someone’s won a fourth game. So we start over. We’ve got to win four straight. That’s it. That’s our approach, win the next one, and that’s all we can do.’’

(on not scoring on the 5-on-3 advantage…) “I thought we got a lot going. We had great chances. (They) just didn’t go in. It’s not as if we couldn’t get in the zone. I mean, we got good chances, we just couldn’t capitalize.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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