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Celebrations Will Have To Wait for the Kings

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There will be a Game 5 in Newark. The New Jersey Devils hit the Kings with the desperation of a team on the verge of elimination and lived to see another day with their 3-1 victory.

"We finally got rewarded," Devils' head coach Peter DeBoer said. "Like I said, I've liked our game and our efforts the last three games. We just haven't found a way to win until tonight. So hopefully that gets the ball rolling."

The ball needed a little bit of a nudge, DeBoer changing up his lineup putting in Petr Sykora and Henrik Tallinder in place of Jacob Josefson and Peter Harrold. That seemed to work with the Kings spending a lot of time either in the neutral zone or dealing with the Devils' forecheck.

The game had ground to something that looked more like the 1995-era Devils, an unwatchable 0-0 tie doing into the third period. Although the Kings had the edge on shots attempted 41-26 going into the final 20 minutes, it was the Devils who struck first at 7:56 in the third period, Patrick Elias on a rebound of Bryce Salvador's shot from the left point.

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Just a minute later after a questionable boarding call on David Clarkson that was embellished by Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty tied the game on the power-play.

The game wore on and it looked like it would be yet another 2-1 overtime game as in Games 1 and 2. Until Adam Henrique got a beautiful pass from Clarkson with less than five minutes left in regulation and did this:

"It seemed to come off my skate pretty nice, right on the tape," Henrique explained. "I knew it came all the across the ice. I knew he was going to have to come a long way to make the save if I was going to get up short-sided."

A clearly hobbled Ilya Kovalchuk iced the game with an empty-netter.

"I think the last three games could have gone our way as easily as they've gone L.A.'s way," DeBoer mused. "We finally got rewarded tonight."

The Kings knew they let one get away.

"We didn’t have our best game tonight and they did," Matt Greene said. "They played well. I mean we knew they were going to come out hard and they did. We have to be tighter in the defensive zone and tighter in our game if we want to win."

So apologies to the fans who have waited 45 years, the fans who got off work early to pack it into STAPLES Center, the fans who spent upwards of $1,500 per ticket for nosebleed seats to try and get a glimpse of the Stanley Cup.

The celebration will have to wait until Saturday at the soonest.