The Kings are quick to point out that, in terms of adversity, they’ve had their share this season. Having a coach fired midseason, and having to rise from 11th place in the final weeks of the season, simply to make the playoffs, certainly qualifies as adversity. But in terms of having to battle in the playoffs, within a series, the Devils have gone through more. The Kings didn’t trail in any of their four playoff series. The Devils, in the first round, trailed Florida 3-2, then won Games 6 and 7 in overtime. In the second round, the Devils dropped the first game to Philadelphia, then won the next four. In the conference finals, the Devils trailed the New York Rangers 1-0 and 2-1 before they won three consecutive games.
That is, almost certainly, one reason why the Devils didn’t fold when the Kings won the first three games of this series, but Drew Doughty said he didn’t necessarily think the Devils derived any advantage from having trailed in previous series.
DOUGHTY: “I don’t think so. Even though we’ve closed out the past series quicker, we’re prepared to go the distance in the Stanley Cup Finals. This is the toughest team we’ve played throughout the playoffs. They’re a great team. They play really well and we knew it was going to be a tough challenge. Now it’s going to be up to us, individually, to get ourselves going and play as a team.’’