Devils Finish Off Rangers in Game 6
2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
The New Jersey Devils finally exorcised the ghost of 1994, beating the New York Rangers, 3-2 in overtime to advance to their fifth Stanley Cup finals appearance.
The Game 6 victory ended the Eastern Conference finals at 4-2 and sealed the Devils' date with the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals, with Game 1 in Newark Wednesday.
Eighteen years ago, the Devils blew a 2-0 lead against the Rangers to let Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals and a 3-2 series lead slip away.
History almost repeated itself after the Rangers tied the count at 2-2 in the second period after being down by 2-0 in the opening period.
Adam Henrique scored the game-winning goal in just 1:03 of overtime from assists by Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexei Ponikarovsky to give the Devils their first Stanley Cup appearance since 2004.
It was a fitting win for the Devils, who completed an improbable comeback after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 1996.
The Devils are gunning for their fourth Stanley Cup trophy after winning it in 1995, 2000 and 2003 while the Kings are eyeing their first crown after making it to the finals in 2003.
The Devils have swept the Kings in their two meetings their season. New Jersey won 3-0 at Staples Center on Oct. 25, just 12 nights after a 2-1 home shootout win.
The Devils earned home-ice advantage in the Cup Final because they had 102 points during the regular season while the Kings had 95 to finish eighth in the Western Conference.
The Devils, who won three straight after falling behind 2-1 in the series, opened Game 6 with a flurry just like the way they started Game 5.
Ryan Carter, the hero of Game 5, got New Jersey going with his fourth playoff goal in the first period and Ilya Kovalchuk followed suit four minutes later to give the Devils a commanding 2-0 lead.
New York tied it in the second period on goals from Ruslan Fedotenko and Ryan Callahan before the two teams battled it out in a scoreless third period.
Martin Brodeur, the Devils' 40-year-old goalie, came up big with 33 saves, including eight in a third period that was dominated by New York. He was not tested in overtime despite the Rangers holding the puck in the zone for roughly the first 45 seconds.
Devils Finish Off Rangers in Game 6
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