Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 6/10/12
NEWARK, N.J. -- The second the Los Angeles Kings took a 3-0 series lead over the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final, fans and journalists all across the country myself included left the Devils for dead, calling the series as good as done. Don't we all look silly now? The Devils and the giant chip on their shoulder avoided elimination once again Saturday night at the Prudential Center, handing the Kings their first road loss in 12 chances this postseason with a 2-1 win in Game 5. Once in a 3-0 hole that history said was insurmountable, New Jersey has now put together back-to-back victories making the league's stingiest goalie look human while leaving the league's hottest team looking vulnerable in the process and on Monday night it will look to force an improbable deciding game when the Devils return to Los Angeles for Game 6. "This is the time of year that you don't care what you have to do to be successful," said New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, who made 25 saves Saturday. "We could have packed it in two games ago, that's the bottom line. But you see we have a bunch of resilient guys that want to try to make history and try to win the Stanley Cup." The Devils' spirit over the last two games has been extraordinary, as they've rallied to keep the series alive when it would have been just as easy to say, "better luck next year." But that resolve is what coach Peter DeBoer has come to expect from his group in his first year behind the New Jersey bench. "We've been counted out right back to last summer and the pre-season predictions all the way through," DeBoer said of his team, which missed the playoffs last season and entered the playoffs this year as the No. 6 seed in the East. "One thing about our group is that, you know, they believe that we can win. They believe we can win every game we play if we play the right way. It's just a matter of stringing together a couple more here." This team seems to play its best hockey in the games that matter most, and Saturday was no different. With the Game 5 win, the Devils improved to 10-1 this postseason in Games 4-7 of a series, their only such loss coming in Game 5 of their opening-round series against Florida. "I think it says a lot about the fight in this team," Devils defenseman Andy Greene said. "The record speaks for itself, and it's just important for us to continue to play our game. It's all we have right now. It's no secret, if we don't get that effort, we're done and they're celebrating." In Games 1 through 4, luck was rarely on the Devils' side, and the Cup Final truly has been far more competitive than the Kings' original 3-0 series lead would suggest. Truth be told, Saturday's win could have just as easily been a series-clincher for the Devils had a couple bounces in Games 1 and 2 gone their way. New Jersey finally got a couple breaks in Game 5 one on Zach Parise's first goal of the series, which was set up by a botched play behind the net by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and another on Bryce Salvador's game-winner, which bounced off of L.A. defenseman Slava Voynov and in handing them a critical win that changed the complexion of the whole series. "The confidence, it's there," said rookie center Adam Henrique. "We felt like we were playing really well early in the series, and it wasn't going our way. Now we're getting a few bounces here and there and guys are feeling good." The disappointing part, of course, is that those what-ifs are still just that, and there are still two more wins separating the Devils from the Cup and with no margin for error. Fortunately for New Jersey, L.A. failed to show the resilience that they displayed in the first and third rounds, when they responded to both of their Game 4 losses with a win in Game 5, and now they, too, face a must-win situation in order to avoid a return trip to New Jersey for Game 7. "We'll digest tonight and travel, (and I) expect (Game 6) to be another game like tonight," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "You know, we're probably saying what they said (after) Games 1 and 2, where we got breaks and now they did. That's how even (the series) is." And should the Devils pull even on Monday, they'll have a chance Wednesday to become only the second team in NHL history and the first since the Maple Leafs in 1942 to rally from a 3-0 hole to win a Stanley Cup. "We're not thinking that far ahead," DeBoer said. "We've got to win another game in order to keep playing. I said all along that our group has a confidence in itself. We didn't feel we belonged in the hole we were in. We felt if we kept playing and got some big performances that we could climb out of it. We're slowly doing that, but we've got some work left to do." A couple wins and a change in fortune have the Devils believing they can actually pull off an upset for the ages, and at this point after an entire season of being told they can't get it done it would be foolish to count them out again. Follow Sam Gardner on Twitter: @sam_gardner
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats


Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

NFL owners reportedly concerned with Raiders-gang connections in LA

T'Wolves getting calls about Rubio ahead of trade deadline

Jarryd Hayne wants to return to NFL

Jones: I ‘scream in my pillow’ being at Super Bowl, not in it

Phil Jackson reportedly does not have opt-out until 2017

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

Eight most potentially combustible MLB clubhouses

Matt Barnes coyly denies IG post was shot at Derek Fisher

NHLers who should be dealt to contenders before deadline

Robert Kraft compares Tom Brady to Peyton, Eli Manning

WATCH: Markieff Morris appears to flip the bird to heckler

Prediction for each NBA award heading into the All-Star Break

Did Clippers reenact Paul Pierce stabbing during pregame intros?

Kobe Bryant gives LeBron James his game-worn Kobe 11s

Terrell Owens tells Skip Bayless to stop ‘misinforming’ people

8-year-old Panthers fan writes adorable letter to Cam Newton

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker