New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings

  • Updated: May 29, 2012 - 11:49 PM


Devils' road: The sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Devils beat Florida in seven games - winning Games 6 and 7 in overtime -- before knocking off Philadelphia in five and eliminating the New York Rangers in six.

Kings' path: Despite being the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Kings have rolled through the playoffs, beating No. 1 seed Vancouver in five games, sweeping St. Louis and ousting Phoenix in five. They have an NHL playoff record eight consecutive road victories.

Cup history: New Jersey is in the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth time. It won in 1995, 2000 and 2003 and lost in seven games to Colorado in 2001. The Kings lost in five games to Montreal in 1993 in their only appearance.

U.S. captains: For the first time, both finalists will have U.S.-born captains -- Zach Parise (Minneapolis) of the Devils and Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y.) of the Kings.

Scoring leaders: For the Devils, left wingers Ilya Kovalchuk (7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points) and Parise (7-7--14). For the Kings, right winger Brown (7-9--16), and centers Anze Kopitar (6-9--15) and Brad Richards (6-9--15).

Coaches: Darryl Sutter replaced the fired Terry Murray as Kings coach on Dec. 12 and is the ninth Stanley Cup Final coach to be hired during the season (four won Cups). Peter DeBoer is in his first season in New Jersey.

Goalie greats: Martin Brodeur, 40, is the only Devil to be on all five Stanley Cup Final teams. He has a 2.04 goals-against average and .923 saves percentage in the playoffs. Vezina Trophy finalist Jonathan Quick of the Kings is at 1.54 and .946.

Unsung playoff heroes: Rookie Dwight King, called up in February, has five goals for the Kings. Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador has 11 points after getting only nine in the regular season.

Wild ties: Former Wild defenseman Willie Mitchell, 35, is the oldest King. Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky was acquired from the Wild mid-season. Jersey forward Petr Sykora played briefly for the Wild in 2009-10.

Minnesotans in the series: Parise and winger Ryan Carter (White Bear Lake) of the Devils.

Peaking: The Devils (ninth) and Kings (13th) are the first teams from outside the top eight teams in the league to make the Stanley Cup Final since the current format started in 1987.

Michael Russo's prediction: Kings in 6.

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Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Samardzija 1
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 1 FINAL
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 3
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 3
Toronto - WP: S. Delabar 3 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: M. Rzepczynski 2
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 11 FINAL
Detroit - LP: D. Smyly 6
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NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
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NY Yankees - LP: A. Warren 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 11
Seattle - LP: Y. Medina 4 FINAL
Miami - WP: S. Cishek 8
Chicago WSox - LP: F. Paulino 0 FINAL
Texas - WP: M. Perez 12
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 0 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Vargas 5
Philadelphia - LP: J. Pettibone 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: T. Chatwood 12
Houston - LP: J. Cosart 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 11
San Francisco - LP: M. Cain 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 2
Arizona - WP: J. Thatcher 4 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: C. Perez 2
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Tampa Bay 1
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Boston 0
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