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No One Stays Neutral About Devils' Trap : Hockey: Critics call it a negative ploy, but New Jersey has used it to good effect in the playoffs.

June 22, 1995|HELENE ELLIOTT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

3. The other four players often take a four-corners or box formation, boxing in the puck carrier so he has few options.

Limited Options

The puck carrier can try to pass to a teammate and risk having the pass intercepted. He can try to shoot it into the Devils' end of the ice, but if he hasn't been able to cross the red line he risks being called for icing. If he tries to carry the puck into the opposing team's zone himself, they will converge on him and leave him no room to stake.

STANLEY CUP FINALS

TRAPPED: NHL teams haven't been able to solve New Jersey's neutral zone trap and critics of the style say it's a negative ploy that minimizes scoring. Because of the defense, the Devils have a 2-0 lead in the playoffs.

SERIES AT A GLANCE

New Jersey Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings

Game 1: New Jersey 2, Detroit 1

Game 2: New Jersey 4, Detroit 2

Game 3: Tonight at N.J., 5 p.m.

Game 4: Sat. at New Jersey, 5 p.m.

*Game 5: Monday at Detroit, 5 p.m.

*Game 6: Wed. at N.J., 4:30.

*Game 7: June 30 at Detroit, 5 p.m.

* TV: Fox will televise Games 4 and 7 and ESPN will show Games 3, 5 and 6.

*--If necessary

All times Pacific

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