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Bruce Boudreau: Kings need to score first in Game 5

June 07, 2012|By Bruce Boudreau
  • The play of Henrik Tallinder is a key reason New Jersey won Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, says Bruce Boudreau.
The play of Henrik Tallinder is a key reason New Jersey won Game 4 of the Stanley… (Harry How / Getty Images )

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau and Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin will blog for The Times occasionally throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. Today, Boudreau gives his thoughts on Game 4 and what the Kings need to do to put away the New Jersey Devils.

Hello Hockey Fans!

The two teams who are left standing in the Stanley Cup Final are here because they never surrender. New Jersey was a perfect example of that Wednesday. It would have been easy to let up with all the talk that the Kings were going to win, and being down 3-0 in a series is a daunting task, to say the least.

But Coach Peter DeBoer did a great job of keeping his team focused. They just went out, did their job and won the game. Now, all of a sudden, even though the Devils still face a 3-1 deficit, things are looking up for New Jersey and they are certainly more confident than they were two nights ago.

Heading into Game 5, the key will be what it has been all along: Whichever team scores the first goal will have the big advantage, because the series has featured such low-scoring games. Goals have been a hard-to-come-by commodity, especially five-on-five goals, with the Kings not scoring many of those either. The goaltenders have been making this the low-scoring series it has become, and they don't seem to be letting up.

It’s going to be a key battle -- who will score the first goal?

I think a really surprising key for New Jersey is Henrik Tallinder. Having him come back into the lineup for Game 4 and the Devils winning that game is huge. He was one of the top two defensemen for New Jersey before he got hurt, so now you’ve added that component of the Devils having one of their better defensemen with a game under his belt and ready to play again.

I still think the Kings are going to win this thing, simply because it's really tough to win four in a row. However, with the way the games are spread out, if the Devils can focus just on the game ahead of them and think of winning on Saturday, well, you just never know.

I think the Devils are gaining confidence, and if they win Game 5 -- and I think they will -- it will be the first time Los Angeles has lost two straight games in the playoffs. It’s going to be a very tough game, though, because the Kings are just going to go back to doing what they do.

But I say that if New Jersey wins, the momentum will have shifted. New Jersey will have the confidence and L.A. will have a little bit of doubt. It would certainly make Game 6 and a potential Game 7 history-making.

Enjoy it!

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