New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer called his team’s 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers Wednesday in the 2012 NHL Eastern Conference Finals “an adventure.”
That is probably the best way to describe a game in which New Jersey led 3-0 before the game was 10 minutes old, watched the Rangers dominate for a long stretch after that and eventually tie the game, then win it in the final 4:24.
“Kind of a tale of two or three games out there. I thought obviously we got the great start, a little bit of an unexpected 3‑0 lead. We haven’t had a lead like that in a while. The Rangers pushed. I thought we were tentative. Started to play a little in between, got away from our forecheck and really for the middle portion of the game, you know, they had us on our heels,” DeBoer said.
“I thought we found a way to weather the storm and we hung with it, and we felt that if we could get back on the forecheck we could create some more offense.
And the goal was a forecheck goal. Kovalchuk goes in, eliminates the defensemen. Gionta scoops up the puck and makes a play.”
The Devils can close out the series and move on to face the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals with a victory in Game 6 Friday night at the Prudential Center.
“This [Madison Square Garden] is a tough rink to get a win in,” DBoer said. “So we were fortunate and looking forward to have an opportunity to close this out at home.”