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Stanley Cup Final: L.A. Kings lose Game 4, 3-1

THIRD PERIOD

There will be a Game 5 in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final after the Devils scored an empty-net goal.

New Jersey winger Ilya Kovalchuk gathered the puck at the L.A. blue line and flipped in a shot with 19 seconds left to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.

The teams will meet at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., for Game 5.

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It just got worse for the Kings.

Defenseman Willie Miitchell is sent off for high sticking with 2 minutes 50 seconds left.

The Devils, though, are 0 for 2 on power plays in Game 4, with Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopping four shots.

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The Devils reclaimed the lead.

Devils winger David Clarkson picked up a turnover near center ice and went into the Kings’ zone.

He sent a cross-ice pass to Adam Henrique, who flipped a wrist shot past goaltender Jonathan Quick’s stick side 5:31 into the third period.

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Devils winger David Clarkson is sent off for boarding Dustin Brown, giving the Kings their fourth power play of the game.

Kings winger Anze Kopitar won the face off. Center Mike Richards slide a pass toward the blue line to defenseman Drew Doughty, who fired a shot through traffic and into the net to tie the score, 1-1, 8 minutes 58 seconds into the third period.

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The Devils finally beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

New Jersey defenseman Bryce Salvador put a shot on goal from the blue line that Quick blocked with his right pad. But winger Patrik Elias swept the rebound into the net with a quick backhand motion for a 1-0 lead 12 minutes 4 seconds into the third period.

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The Kings’ Simon Gagne stole a pass at the L.A. blue line and raced up ice on a two-on-one breakaway five minutes into the period.

Gagne passed to Trevor Lewis, but goaltender Martin Brodeur disrupted his attempt with a poke-check and the puck slid wide of the goal.

Earlier in the period, Gagne beat the Devils down the left boards to get a close-range shot that Brodeur blocked.

SECOND PERIOD

At this point, the New Jersey Devils have likely seen enough of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

The two teams are scoreless through two periods of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on Wednesday evening.

Quick has stopped 85 consecutive shots, dating to Game 2. New Jersey has not scored a goal in the last 130 minutes of the series.

The Devils had only three shots in the second period, but two were quality chances.

A weird ricochet of the puck came off Ilya Kovalchuk’s stick at the crease, but Quick extended his right leg to make the save two minutes into the second period.

Marek Zidlicky fired a shot from the boards through traffic, but Quick was able to make a kick save nine minutes into the period.

Martin Brodeur matched Quick’s play. He denied Simon Gagne on a breakaway 15 minutes into the period and, moments later, smothered a shot by Matt Greene.

The game is also close to a statistical draw, with the Kings having 14 shots to the Devils’ 11. L.A. is 0 for 3 on the power play and New Jersey, which has a 30-22 edge in hits, is 0 for 2.

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The Kings fail to get a shot on goal during their third power play of the game.

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Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador is sent off for intereference 8 minutes 19 seconds into the second period.

The Kings are on their third power play of the game, having twice failed to score in the first period and start of the second.

END OF FIRST PERIOD

The Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils came away scoreless in the first period, despite several spurts of activity.

The Devils had the better of it early, mainly because of two power plays in the opening 10 minutes, but were denied by goaltender Jonathan Quick. Petr Sykora, who sat out the previous six games, got off a quick shot in the slot, but Quick snagged it. Quick then snared a blue-line try by Ilya Kovalchuk.

The Kings have killed 66 of 71 penalties during the playoffs. New Jersey has not scored a goal in 14 power plays during the Stanley Cup Final.

Quick, who has given up only two goals through three games in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final, made seven saves in the first period. Martin Brodeur, his counterpart, had eight.

The Kings, though, went 15 minutes without a shot on goal until Dustin Penner put the puck on net with less than two minutes left in the period.

While the Kings were having trouble getting clean shots, they were hitting the pipes. Defensemen Slava Voynov hit the left post with a blue-line shot 17 minutes into the period. Anze Kopitar hit the left post with 44 seconds left in the period while the Kings were on a power play,

The Kings start the second period on the power play, as New Jersey’s Bryce Salvador has 1 minute 16 seconds left for his interference penalty.

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New Jersey’s Bryce Salvador was sent off for interference against the Kings’ Dustin Brown with 44 seconds left in the first period.

Kings winger Anze Kopitar hit the post with a shot that slide across the crease but somehow did not cross the goal line.

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With the Devils on the power play, Petr Sykora, who sat out the previous six games, got off a quick shot in the slot, but Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick snagged it. Quick then snared a blue-line try by Ilya Kovalchuk.

The game remains scoreless midway through the first period.

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The Kings’ Dustin Brown has been sent off for tripping 8:01 into the first period.

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The Kings’ Jarret Stoll is sent off for hooking 5:51 into the game. New Jersey has not scored a power-play goal in the Stanley Cup Final in 12 opportunities.

The Kings kill the New Jersey power play. The Kings have killed 65 of 70 power plays during the playoffs.

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Kings come up empty on the power play. With New Jersey’s Zach Parise off for tripping, the Kings got the shots. Defensemen Alec Martinez had the best opportunity with a blistering shot from the blue line that goaltender Martin Brodeur turned away.

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The Kings get the first power play, as New Jersey’s Zach Parise was called for tripping 3 minutes 2 seconds into the game. The Kings scored two power play goals in their 4-0 victory Monday.

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There is anticipation like never before around Staples Center … well, other than when a Lakers playoff game is about to start.

The Kings, who have frustrated their fans for 45 years, can make good on so many promises tonight against the New Jersey Devils tonight in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

A victory will give the Kings the Stanley Cup for the first time, and allow them to hang a banner in Staples Center next to the 16 NBA championship banners the Lakers have accumulated.

Fans can finally choose between a spontaneous outburst of celebration and a brain-dead act of vandalism.

“The position we’re in, we’ve obviously worked hard for,” Kings forward Mike Richards said. “It’s exciting. It’s exciting for everybody to get this opportunity. We know we have a lot of work left. It’s something we have to try to embrace, not be nervous, but try to enjoy.”

The Kings have appeared in the Stanley Cup Final only one other time, losing in five games to the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. It was a loss Kings fans blamed on Marty McSorley, who was caught with an illegal stick in Game 2.

McSorley has spun a conspiracy theory ever since, saying that the Canadiens cheated in finding out that he was cheating. A victory tonight would likely get McSorley off the hook with fans.

[Updated 4:59 p.m. The Kings were born as an expansion team in 1967-68 and have linked sporadic success with pratfalls. They gave away first-round draft picks like carwash coupons in the 1970s and went through a bankruptcy in the 1990s. It has been a Homeric tale with many Homer Simpson-like moments, with five owners.]

The relationship between the fans and the Kings was best summed up by a fan outside Staples Center on Monday. Above the number on his Kings jersey, instead of his name, were the words “love” and “hate.”

A victory tonight would give the Kings a 16-2 record in the 2012 playoffs, tying them with the 1988 Edmonton Oilers for the NHL record for fewest playoff losses en route to the Stanley Cup.

The Kings would also be the first eighth-seeded team to win the Cup.

“It’s just the way it goes,” Kings forward Jarret Stoll said. “You ride your confidence as far as you can take it. You ride your play, you ride your goaltender, you ride your guys that are going. We got everybody going. That’s probably the best thing about our team -- we’re a team.

“If you are going to beat us, you have to come through a lot of us to beat us. That’s the way we feel. That’s the way we’re playing. One more to go.”

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For the record: An earlier version of this report said the Kings have had three owners. The Kings have had five owners.


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