Here are three things you need to know about Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils at the Staples Center on Wednesday. The Kings have a 3-0 lead after a 4-0 victory on Monday and have a chance to clinch the franchise's first championship in its 45-year history.
Primed for a Hollywood ending
The eighth-seeded Kings have put together an unexpected run for the ages. They barely squeaked into the playoffs and if they can close the deal in Game 4 they would become the first team to win the Stanley Cup in a sweep since the Detroit Red Wings beat the Washington Capitals in four in 1998 and the first team to record a 16-2 record en route to the championship since Wayne Gretzky and the 1988 Edmonton Oilers.
In all four series this spring, the Kings have made life easy by jumping out to 3-0 leads. In the first round and in the West final, the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes respectively, were able to extend the series to a fifth game. In the second round against the St. Louis Blues, the Kings swept their opponents.
If the Kings win on Wednesday, Rob Scuderi, Dustin Penner, Justin Williams and Colin Fraser will win their second Stanley Cup. Head coach Darryl Sutter, 53, will win his first after 406 NHL games as a player and more than 1,000 regular season and playoff games behind the bench.
Parise, Henrique know all about overcoming 3-0 deficits
Overcoming a 3-0 deficit is a mountainous hill to climb, but Devils rookie centre Adam Henrique can draw on past experience from junior. He helped his Windsor Spitfires battle back from 3-0 disadvantage to the Kitchener Rangers to win the 2010 OHL West final and eventually go on to win the Memorial Cup.
Zach Parise's father J.P. was on the 1974-75 New York Islanders team that overcame a 3-0 deficit to the Pittsburgh Penguins and played on Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series that won its last three games to beat the Soviet Union. The Islanders team came back from 3-0 to tie the final that year against the Philadelphia Flyers, but lost the seventh and deciding game.
Parise talked to his father about those comebacks.
"He said him and Chico [Resch] are living proof that it can happen," Zach Parise said."He said they did it twice in the one season. Obviously, they won the one and lost the other one. He said with Team Canada, they went into Russia, had to win three games, won three games there. He said it can happen. He said things like this can happen.
"He said that from watching the games, the margin for error right now is really, really slim. All three of the games, we felt like we could have won. He just said, 'You got to start with the one tonight and then see what happens.'"
Devils add Sykora and Tallinder to the mix
New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer will make a pair of lineup changes for Game 4. Veteran Petr Sykora will jump in for rookie Jacob Josefson and defenceman Henrik Tallinder will play for Peter Harrold.
The 33-year-old Tallinder hasn't played since Jan. 17, when he suffered a blood clot in his leg. The native of Stockholm played in back-to-back Eastern Conference finals with the Buffalo Sabres in 2006 and 2007.
The 35-year-old Sykora has been a healthy scratch for the Devils since May 19. He has scored nine Stanley Cup playoff game-winning goals and won championships with the 1999-2000 Devils and 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins.
Projected forward lines for the Kings
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Simon Gagne - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan
Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick
Projected forward lines for the Devils
Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Starting goalie: Martin Brodeur
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