NEWARK, N.J. -- Bryce Salvador scored a fluke goal midway through the second period, snapping a 1-1 tie and giving the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final Saturday night, drawing the Devils to within 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
Game 6 is scheduled for Monday night in Los Angeles. It marked only the third time in the history of the NHL that a team that once trailed in the final by a 3-0 margin pushed the series to a Game 6.
Zach Parise scored his first goal of the final in the first period, giving the Devils a 1-0 lead, while Justin Williams scored in the opening stages of the second period, tying the game at 1-1.
Salvador, who failed to score a single goal in the regular season, fired a shot at 9:05 of the second period that seemed to deflect off the stick of David Clarkson, but in fact went in off Kings defenseman Slava Voynov instead. It gave Salvador his fourth goal and 14th point in 22 playoff games after playing all 82 regular-season games without a goal and just nine assists.
Martin Brodeur was solid in goal for the Devils, making 25 saves, several of which were reminiscent of when he was the top goalkeeper in the league, while Jonathan Quick stopped 17 shots for the Kings. The Devils, playing with the lead, managed just three shots on goal in the third period.
The Kings had a chance to tie the game several times in the early stages of the third period. Former Devil Willie Mitchell's slap shot bounced high into Brodeur's chest with 19:06 left.
Then, with 14:29 left, Alec Martinez had two shots at Brodeur, one that hit the post and another that was deflected onto the top of the net, stopping play.
The Devils held off a final chance by the Kings, when Mike Richards' slap shot was deflected by Brodeur off the post with 7.6 seconds left and the Kings playing with an empty net.
The Kings had the first solid chance of the game, when Williams' wrist shot clanged hard off the right post at 17:10 of the first period, a shot that clearly beat Brodeur.
Parise had a great chance himself when he made a steal in front of the goal and tried to tuck it past Quick, but the Kings' masterful netminder made a sprawling save at 16:31.
The Devils had a scare at 11:25 of the first, when Patrik Elias was checked hard into the boards by Matt Greene. Elias got pushed from behind and landed hard on his back into the boards. After a brief stint on the ice, receiving medical help, Elias skated back to his bench and had words with Greene.
The Devils broke through at 7:15 on a play entirely created by the Devils' captain. Parise sent the puck into the Kings' zone to the right of Quick, who fielded the puck. But Quick somewhat fanned on it as he tried to wrap it around the net, and an alert Parise pounced on the puck and tucked it past Quick for the 1-0 lead.
It was the first mistake the Kings' young goalie had made in the entire series, and it was the first goal of the final for Parise, who led the Devils with seven goals in the playoffs before facing the Kings.
Brodeur made two saves in one sequence with 2:50 remaining in the first period, protecting the Devils' 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
The Kings wasted little time tying the game in the second period as Williams skated in alone with no defensive interference whatsoever and ripped a wrist shot that Brodeur had no prayer of stopping. It went into the high left corner of the goal, tying the game at 1-1 at 16:29 of the second period.
Brodeur then made a diving save of a breakaway attempt from Jarret Stoll with 15:30 left, and Quick countered with a save on Travis Zajac's backhand shot with 14:50 left.
The Devils then took the 2-1 lead when Bryce Salvador, who has been an offensive force throughout the playoffs, fired a shot toward the goal that deflected past Quick.
The Kings thought they had tied the game when Stoll knocked in a shot during a power play, but Stoll clearly hit the puck with his stick above his head, waving off the goal with 8:43 left.
Devils center Ryan Carter had a golden chance to increase the lead with 3:43 remaining in the period, but Quick made a sliding save.
Stoll had a great shot on Brodeur in the closing seconds, but Brodeur made a pad save, and then Brodeur stuffed Dustin Brown's backhand attempt as the second period ended with the Devils holding a 2-1 lead.
NOTES: Veteran center Petr Sykora, who created a handful of scoring chances in Game 4, was in the lineup in place of Jacob Josefson for the Devils in Game 5. Henrik Tallinder, who missed most of the last part of the regular season and most of the playoffs with a blood clot in his leg, got the nod over Peter Harrold on the defensive line for New Jersey. ... The Kings had won 10 straight playoff games on the road, tying the NHL playoff record by the 2004 Calgary Flames, a team that, ironically, was coached by Kings coach Darryl Sutter.
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