NEWARK, N.J. - The New Jersey Devils have proven to be a hardy bunch.
They weren't given much of a chance in most pre-season polls to snatch a playoff spot, and they did. They appeared down and out in the first round against the Florida Panthers, but they pressed on. They weren't supposed to beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round or the New York Rangers in the NHL East final, and they did.
When the Los Angles Kings built a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup final, the Devils were done. Or so we thought. But this resilient bunch has bounced back again.
After a determined 2-1 victory at home on Saturday, the Devils forced Game 6 on Monday in Los Angeles (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET), and are now two wins away from becoming only the second team in Stanley Cup final history to overcome a 3-0 deficit.
"I thought we survived out there," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "I don't think we played our greatest game, but we found a way to win.
"These are important games to win, especially at home, knowing these guys play really well, really solid on the road. They had a lot of jump. We got cornered a few times in our zone. But we made some good blocks, key plays defensively to win this game."
As impressive as the Kings' 10-game road win streak that was halted, the Devils have their own stat they should take pride in. They are 10-1 in Games 4, 5, 6 and 7 in this playoff run.
The Devils and Kings have a balanced attack and have played a team game to get this far. But there were several individual efforts from some Devils worth noting in their Game 5 victory.
"We've been counted out right back to last summer and the pre-season predictions all the way through," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "One thing about our group is that 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."
We'll find out in the next four days whether this hardy bunch can pull off the ultimate display of resiliency.
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