Pete DeBoer likes Devils' chances

Updated: June 9, 2012, 3:44 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- Less than 24 hours after his team beat the Kings in Game 4 to stay alive in the Stanley Cup finals, Devils coach Pete DeBoer said Thursday he feels good about New Jersey's chances of erasing Los Angeles' 3-1 series lead.

DeBoer said he liked the dynamic that veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder and forward Petr Sykora added in Wednesday night's 3-1 win in Los Angeles.

Before Game 4, Tallinder had been sidelined for almost six months with a leg injury. Sykora had been a healthy scratch since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"They gave us a real shot of energy, I think," DeBoer said. "Whenever you're out for a period, you wonder how they're going to handle their timing and things, but you can tell they're veteran guys. They had no hesitation when we talked to them about going back in, and that's how they played."

The Devils think they can come all the way back against the Kings.

"We know we have the personnel to complete the comeback," said 22-year-old center Adam Henrique, whose three game winners this postseason are the most by a rookie since 1999, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. "I think there's a lot of people out there that don't believe we can do it, but it doesn't really matter what everybody else thinks. It matters what we think in the room.

"We've got to string together four in a row. Every game is do-or-die now, it's always Game 7 for us. We have the confidence in the room that we can do it. It's gonna be tough, obviously, but we're fully prepared to do it."

The task the Devils face is daunting. The last team that surmounted a three-game deficit in a best-of-seven series in the Cup finals was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs. Los Angeles also enters Game 5 with a 10-0 road record this postseason.

Still, the Devils feel if they can take another game off the Kings, the momentum might shift.

"We win Saturday night and this series really takes a turn," DeBoer said.

The Devils have had to rally from behind in each of the three previous rounds during these playoffs -- although never from a 3-0 series deficit.

New Jersey dropped the opening game of both the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers and the conference finals against the New York Rangers. They also trailed the Florida Panthers 2-1 in the East quarterfinals.

Each time, they found a way.

"I think, in general, we're pretty confident that we can win the games," said veteran winger Dainius Zubrus. "We've been in some tough situations already in the playoffs being behind some very good teams.

"I don't think we got too far ahead of ourselves. We've taken it one game at a time and were able to win series. I think our approach doesn't change."

The Devils hope to carry that approach into their own building as they host Game 5 at the Prudential Center on Saturday night. The road-warrior Kings have effectively reduced home-ice advantage to an afterthought for each team they have plowed through up to this point. The Devils, one of only two other teams in NHL history to rack up 10 road playoff victories, aim to reclaim their territory Saturday night.

"We're pretty confident, coming back here and playing at home," New Jersey center Travis Zajac said. "I think we've played well here all playoffs besides Game 1 and 2 of this series -- we didn't get some bounces.

"We're comfortable playing at home, and I think we've played some really good hockey [here]."

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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