June 7, 2012 9:50 am

The view from Newark

The New Jersey Devils didn’t really do anything special in Game 4. That’s not an insult, nor is it even a backhanded compliment. For the most part, the Devils did what they did in Games 1 and 2 and for a big part of Game 3. They got good goaltending. They forechecked with intensity. They created turnovers, and scoring opportunities off of those turnovers. The difference? The Devils converted, and the Kings hit the post twice and failed to score on three breakaway chances. That’s a big part of it. The Devils got a stellar effort from Martin Brodeur, who didn’t want to see his season, and perhaps his final swing at a fourth Stanley Cup, end. The Devils will bring the exact same effor in Game 5, and it will be the Kings’ challenge to try to exceed 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 the difference in Game 4…) “Not a whole lot different. We found a way to get the first goal. We found a way to keep momentum. We didn’t play any harder. I mean, I think the chances were relatively even again tonight, like they have been most of the games. Our poorest effort was in Game 1. I think the last three games could have gone our way as easily as they’ve gone L.A.’s way. We finally got rewarded tonight.’’

(on Adam Henrique’s goal…) “A big-time play. Off a skate, a quick shot up top. I mean, especially with the way Quick has been playing. It was a goal-scorer’s play. He’s got a knack for that.’’

(on having believed that his team “deserved more…) “Yeah. We finally got rewarded. Like I said, I’ve
liked our game and our efforts the last three games. We just haven’t found a way to win until tonight. So hopefully that gets the ball rolling.’’

(on how his players stayed mentally focused…) “Well, they believe. They’re in the fight. They’ve
got a lot of pride. Like I said, we’ve been in adverse spots before where we’ve played two or three games and haven’t got rewarded because of either hot goaltending or we’ve taken too many penalties. We know we’ve just got to stick with it and it will turn. And it did tonight.’’

(on whether he thinks the Devils planted some doubt in the Kings’ minds…) “Well, you hope so. That’s the plan. We’ve got to take it home and take care of business now and win another one.’’

(on facing the Kings, who have been strong on the road…) “We’ve got to win a home game. We’re a good home team in front of our home crowd. I’m confident that we’ll be ready to play and we’ll get the job done.’’

(on responding to the Clarkson penalty and getting a goal…) “You know, again, tough call. For them to
score on it. You know, you’re right, that’s a crossroads, that’s a turning point. The fact we pushed right back was critical.’’

—–

MARTIN BRODEUR

(on whether the Devils tweaked anything to get the win…) “Actually, we talked about doing more of the same. We feel that we’ve been playing really well this series, but with zero result. It’s hard. But I think you just don’t change for the sake of changing. I thought in the playoffs that has been working for us. We just wanted to do more of the same. We were able to win today. I thought we had great performances from certain guys. That made this win happen.’’

(on the spirit of the team…) “We’re pretty happy to live another day. There’s no doubt about that. We just wanted to play well, give everything we had, and see where that’s going to bring us. Again, we were able to win. We’re pretty happy about it. But we know that the road ahead is the most difficult that we could face. So we’re taking a day at a time. But it was fun to win. It’s been three games we played well and no result. Regardless of what happened next game, at least we won one game. We’re definitely happy about the way everything unfolded for us today.’’

(on Trevor Lewis’ breakaway chance…) “Gagne had the puck with a breakaway in the second period also. I saw him looking kind of the corner of his eye. I saw the guy coming in. He was coming with so much speed. I figured I was going to try to surprise him a little bit. Didn’t work because he went around me. But at least he missed the net. [smiles]’’

(on getting some good bounces, with the goalposts early…) “Goalies, we’re always in good position. That’s why they hit the crossbar. Not this time, though. [laughs] We’re definitely fortunate to get bounces. I think it was Brown that had a great shot over my shoulder there. He hit it pretty good on the post. I think Kopitar had one, too. It’s part of the game. We haven’t got these breaks much this series. It’s nice to have them on our side, especially early. We wanted to score the first goal. Even though lead didn’t last for too long, we wanted to score the first goal, and that was our goal.’’

(on the save on Gagne’s breakaway…) “Well, I don’t really look at saves or things that I make because it’s so hard, because the next shot is the next big save I need to make. It was just kind of a break that he got. He’s got so much speed. He was coming hard. I just held my ground there, took a shot, made a pad save there, gave up a rebound in the middle of the slot there. All our players were there. I think the team spirit for everybody, when they see you’re making a big save like that in a certain time of the game, it brings everybody up. But we only had three shots in the second period. That’s not the way we wanted to respond from that. But we played better in the third.’’

(on Adam Henrique’s calmness on the ice…) “I think he’s grown a lot as a player. I think from his junior career, he scored a lot of goals all the time. These playoffs, it’s obvious the goals he has scored are important goals for this team. His head is up. His skating ability. The way he handles the puck, protects the puck. It’s pretty amazing to see at that young age to be able to come in and really be an impact the way that he is. Even though he doesn’t score all the time, he does a lot of good things on the ice.’’

(on having rallied from a 3-1 deficit before, and whether that makes him believe more…) “More than yesterday. You know, I think we wanted to make them jump on a plane and come to New Jersey. We had to go anyway. Might as well get a game over there. [smiles] But I think it’s a tough situation, you know, for us to be in. We pulled it off, one game. We’ll take it one game at a time. But I’m sure they’re not happy to make that trip. We’ll try to make it miserable for them again. Played them well, played them hard. We’ll see where the result is going to end up. We definitely are looking forward to the next game and some of the momentum. Finally we were able to score goals on Quick, not many, but enough to win. Hopefully that’s going to be a good thing for the boys coming home, that we’re a little better offensively on home ice.’’

(on whether he frustrated the Kings…) “I don’t really care. For me, it’s about winning. They’ve got their share of success in Game 3, scoring four goals. The other two games, I thought I played really well. Came down to overtime goals to beat us. They’ve been working so hard. The least I could do is give them a chance to win. That’s what I’m doing. I don’t really care if I affect the other team mentally or whatever. That’s up to them to figure it out. For me, it’s all about my team, the way I play for them.’’

(on bouncing back after the Kings’ goal…) “Tough on a bad call. I don’t think Clarkson deserved a penalty on that one. That is part of being in the opposing building sometimes when you score a big goal in the third. But we bounced back really well. I thought we were really calm, for whatever reason. Sometimes you could get a little nervous. Again, it’s a tough environment when you’re going to win the Stanley Cup. We try to stay with it as much as we can. They sat back a little bit. They still did have a couple chances, but I thought we were really calm with the puck, and it showed. I think it’s the first time we got in the zone and made a pass all series instead of dumping it in and it ended up being a goal.’’

(on whether he draws, mentally, on previous elimination games…) “It’s just being in the moment. Every situation is different. You can look back. When you do play the game, it’s what’s happening in front of you, some of the players that are creating their own things out there. It’s really hard, while you’re playing, to really think about other things, even though some of them are successful, some are not. But for me, it’s living in the moment, living these experiences with these guys. That’s what hockey is all about, it’s about living the moment.’’

—–

ADAM HENRIQUE

(on what happened to lead to his goal…) “I think Clarky [David Clarkson] turned it over right away. You saw it when he had it in the blue line. I was hoping he was going to see me. Made a great play across the ice. Got off my skate pretty good. Anyway, just had to get it to the net quick.’’

(on regaining momentum after the Kings scored…) “It was nice to get the lead there. It felt nice to have it. It was short-lived. I didn’t see the call. It is what it is. We stayed confident. We knew it was coming down to the last five, 10 minutes. It felt whoever was going to get the next one was going to win the game. We just had to stick to our game plan and it paid off tonight.’’

(on how he was able to control Clarkson’s pass…) “It seemed to come off my skate pretty nice, right on the tape. I knew it came all the across the ice. I knew he was going to have to come a long way to make the save if I was going to get up short-sided.’’

(on his experience, having success as a rookie…) “It’s fun. This is where every kid dreams of playing one day. We know it’s going to be a tough ask to come back. We’ll take it one game at a time. Marty played great, kept us in it. The guys battled hard. There’s no quit in the group in here. We know we can do it. We know we can put four together and come back.’’

(on whether he has belief that the Devils can come back and win the series…) “For sure. There’s no question. There’s no better time than now to do it. Seems we waited to get that first one under our belt. It was a hard-fought game. It was close from start to finish. Coming down to the wire, it seemed whoever was going to get the next one with five or 10 minutes to go was going to grab the win. We have to take it one game at a time. That’s the bottom line.’’

(on his penchant for scoring big goals…) “You know, everybody wants to be out there in those situations. You want to be counted on by your teammates, your coaches. It’s nice that they have that trust in me to put me out there in those certain times of the game. I just play. I’m not thinking about what’s going to happen if I score, if I don’t score. I’m just a kid playing hockey, having some fun.’’

(on the Devils’ first goal, and beating Jonathan Quick…) “Well, he played another great game. Our D have been making those plays all playoff long. A big reason we had success and why we’re here. Sal [Bryce Salvador] came through again. Showed some patience. (The puck) came off his pad. Patty [Patrik Elias] was in the right spot. It was a huge goal for us at the time.’’

(on whether he still feels like a rookie…) “No, I think it passed a while ago. We’re just a team in there. We’ve been battling hard all year. It’s been a fun year. It’s not over yet. The guys still got some fight in there. We’re looking forward to heading home for Game 5.’’

(on whether there was anything different about Brodeur…) “No. I think he’s played great the whole series, the whole playoffs. He’s a huge reason why we’re here. He took us to overtime the first two games, gave us a chance to win those ones. He kept us in it from start to finish. He made some great plays, some great saves. It’s what we’ve come to expect from him. He’s a huge reason why we’re here.’’

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