Rapid Reaction: Kings 6, Devils 1
June, 11, 2012
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: The Devils' season came to an end with a 6-1 loss to the Kings in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals on Monday night, and no one will feel worse about it than New Jersey fourth-liner Steve Bernier.
Bernier's first-period hit on defenseman Rob Scuderi led to a five-minute Kings power play that resulted in three goals in the span of 3:58. The Devils rallied back from a 3-0 series deficit to fuel their long-shot comeback hopes against the dominant Kings, but they couldn't recover from the spirit-sapping, three-goal hole at Staples Center.
Rookie Adam Henrique scored the Devils' lone goal, but the Kings scored twice more late in the third period for the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Bad move by Bernier: Bernier's reckless hit midway through the first period will likely go down as one of the most infamous moments in Devils history. The Kings went on to score three goals on the five-minute power play awarded after Bernier crushed Scuderi into the boards 10:10 into play and earned himself a five-minute boarding major and automatic game misconduct.
Kings captain Dustin Brown got his team on the board with a tip-in at 11:03 and Jeff Carter made it 2-0 with a deflection less than two minutes later. Trevor Lewis added a third goal for a 3-0 lead that sent the Staples Center crowd into a frenzy at 15:01.
Although he remained down on the ice for several minutes and left the game with a bloodied face, Scuderi returned to begin the second period.
Carter's coronation: Carter rattled off his second goal of the night with a wrister from the slot that beat Brodeur for a staggering 4-0 Kings lead at 1:30. The 27-year-old center, a crucial trade-deadline acquisition for the Kings in February, finished with eight goals during the dominant Cup run.
Captain America: Brown became the first American-born captain to win the Stanley Cup since Derian Hatcher hoisted the trophy for the Dallas Stars in 1999. Brown's power-play marker was his first goal of the series.
Long night for Brodeur: After outshining Quick in Games 4 and 5, Brodeur's phenomenal playoff performance came to a bitter end as the Kings poured on six goals in their Cup-clinching victory. According to ESPN Stats and Info, it was only the second time in his playoff career that he has surrendered three or more power-play goals.
Missed call: Only seconds before Bernier's game-changing hit, fellow fourth-liner Stephen Gionta got hammered into the bench by Jarret Stoll, a hit the Devils bench believed warranted a call. Stoll received no penalty on the play. The Devils also appeared livid that a collision between linesman Pierre Racicot and defenseman Anton Volchenkov interfered with play on Carter's second-period goal.
Fourth-line fallout: The Devils' heart-and-soul fourth line was the story once again, but for all the wrong reasons. With Bernier already tossed from the game, Ryan Carter was slapped with a two-minute roughing penalty and 10-minute misconduct for taking down Jonathan Quick during the second period. Later in the frame, Gionta was struck him in the face by Petr Sykora's shot, although he remained in the game.