Devils have plenty to prove in final versus Kings | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaDevils have plenty to prove in final versus Kings

Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2012 | 12:36 AM

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Los Angeles Kings centre Anze Kopitar (74) and New Jersey Devils centre Patrik Elias (26) vie for the puck during one of their regular season matchups on Oct. 25, 2011. The Devils won the season series 2-0. (Chris Carlson/Associated Press) Los Angeles Kings centre Anze Kopitar (74) and New Jersey Devils centre Patrik Elias (26) vie for the puck during one of their regular season matchups on Oct. 25, 2011. The Devils won the season series 2-0. (Chris Carlson/Associated Press)

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Two unlikely combatants will meet in the 2012 Stanley Cup final. But the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings have survived and will meet for the championship on Wednesday.
No. 6 N.J. Devils (48-28-6-102 pts) vs. No. 8 L.A. Kings (40-27-15-95 pts)

Five storylines

1. If the Devils win, it would mean that they would celebrate their fourth Stanley Cup championship since 1995 and would match the four won by the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008.

New Jersey has captured Stanley Cup titles in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

2. Has there been a better general manager in the NHL in the past two-plus decades than the 69-year-old Devils boss Lou Lamoriello? He is celebrating his 25th anniversary at the helm of the Devils and after some difficult seasons managing the salary cap, he now has a chance to win a fourth NHL championship.

3. The Kings have been brilliant on the road in this playoff run with a record eight consecutive victories. They have opened up each of the first three previous series with two wins in a row and then captured Game 3 at home. Los Angeles has yet to face some adversity in the playoffs, and with the final opening in East, can the Devils win a game or two to put some heat on the Kings?

4. Kings forwards Dustin Penner, Colin Fraser, Justin Williams and defenceman Rob Scuderi all have won Stanley Cups, but can Los Angeles forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards follow suit? The talented linemates and friends have been under pressure since the Philadelphia Flyers dealt them last summer. They went to the Stanley Cup final with the Flyers in 2010 and would like to prove their old club wrong with a title run this time.

5. When Darryl Sutter's younger brother Brent turned around the fortune of the Canadian world under-20 junior program, he had New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer alongside him as an assistant coach. That Canadian junior team also included current Kings Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. But friendships will fall by the wayside when Los Angeles and New Jersey meet in the final.

Season series: Devils 2-0-0

Oct. 13 -- Devils 2-1 (SO) at New Jersey

Oct. 25 -- Devils 2-0 at Los Angeles

Prediction: Devils in 7.

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