Kings center Colin Fraser fights for position in front of the net with Devils… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
NEWARK, N.J. -- There was one easy answer coming out of the New Jersey Devils' locker.
The 2-1 overtime loss to the Kings on Saturday wasn't goaltender Martin Brodeur's fault. That the Devils fly to the West Coast down, 2-0, in the Stanley Cup Final can't be hung on their 40-year old goaltender, who "acts like he's a 13-year-old from an energy point of view when he plays," Coach Peter DeBoer said.
Brodeur made 30 saves, many in acrobatic fashion, flopping all over the ice at the Prudential Center.
"He did what he always does, played great," the Devils' Adam Henrique said. "He gave us a chance to win."
But they didn't.
The Devils have trailed in every playoff series this season. But this is the first time they have trailed 2-0 in a series.
The urgency was apparent.
"Must-win games started before Game 1," Devils forward Zach Parise said.
Now they face the possibility of being swept.
The Devils lost the first game to the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers in their last two playoff series, and they trailed the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in the first round.
This, though, is a much more difficult climb.
"How do we recover?"Alexei Ponikarovsky said. "Just push ahead, go out there and win two games. You have to deal with it emotionally."
The "how" remains the problem.
Said Parise: "We need to do a better job offensively."
That may be a little more difficult than trying to bounce back from a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 1. The Devils had only 17 shots and spent two days talking about putting more pressure on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
They did. It just didn't matter.
Quick made 32 saves, allowing only Ryan Carter's goal three minutes into the third period. The Devils attacked him, sometimes literally. Twice Quick had his mask removed by a New Jersey player, once when Dainius Zubrus sat on his head.
"We played a much better game tonight," DeBoer said. "We got a lot more clean shots. That's our game."
But it didn't work.
The Devils put some of that on the Kings.
"They jump us at the right time," Parise said.