June 7, 2012

Quick, Kings fail to close out series

By Jesse Connolly

When Darryl Sutter was asked what went differently on Wednesday, the Kings coach’s answer was spot-on. 

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick suffered just his third loss of the playoffs Wednesday. (Getty Images)

“Not much,” Sutter responded. “(It was) pretty much overtime in the third period, same as the first two games.”

Indeed Sutter was right. The Kings and Devils entered the third period of Game 4 at Staples Center tied 0-0, as Jonathan Quick (Hamden, Conn.) and Martin Brodeur were perfect for their respective squads. It appeared as though whoever scored first would walk away victorious.

For the Devils, being the team to do so and taking their first lead of the series in the process surely must have been gratifying, as Patrik Elias beat Quick on the backhand with 12:04 left in regulation. Unfortunately for New Jersey, the Kings knotted things up precisely one minute later on Drew Doughty’s fourth of the playoffs.

The Kings seemed back in control in their quest to close out the series, but a clutch goal with 4:31 to go by rookie Adam Henrique lifted the Devils to victory. Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-netter with 20 ticks left to seal the deal on a 3-1 win, which cut L.A.’s lead in the series to 3-1 in the process.

Quick finished the night with 21 saves on 23 shots, as he and the Kings suffered just their third loss of the entire postseason.

The two teams will now head back to the Garden State, as the Devils will host Game 5 at Prudential Center on Saturday night.