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Facing challenge of historic comeback, Devils believing ‘why not us?’

Sean Leahy
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NEWARK -- Before the puck dropped for Game 4 Wednesday night, the New Jersey Devils were left for dead. Down 0-3 to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final and managing to get just two goals by Jonathan Quick, there wasn't much hope for them to make an historic comeback. While many were preparing their tributes to the Kings' first championship, the Devils finally got their breaks in a 3-1 win in Game 4.

Still given no expectation to claw their way back into the series, the Devils had reason to feel loose at Friday's practice. Despite needing just a single victory to claim the Cup, the pressure is all on Los Angeles. They're expected to win the "next" game, whether it was Game 4 Wednesday or Saturday night's Game 5. They stormed out to a 3-0 series lead for good reason, and for the Kings to be unable to find their game that got them to this point once more is almost unthinkable. Couple that with their 10-0 road record and why shouldn't they close out the series Saturday at Prudential Center?

"We believe it can be done," said Devils forward David Clarkson. "If we didn't believe, we wouldn't be showing up every night. We always believe in here. We have a lot of heart and character. We're going to give everything we have every shift and every play. That's all we can do right now."

The Devils remain confident that they can make history. Their goaltender, Martin Brodeur, gave them a fighting chance in Games 1 and 2 and bounced back in Game 4 after a tough Game 3. He's been through the wars and seen it all at age 40. His calm demeanor when despite chaos doesn't go unnoticed. Plainly, New Jersey feeds off of Brodeur's composure.

[Related: Los Angeles Kings entering familiar territory heading into Game 5]

"Our focus hasn't wavered," said Devils head coach Peter DeBoer. "I think our composure as a group, again starting with Marty. But our guys believe. Our guys believe we can win three or four games in a row. We've had that, I think, from kind of the midpoint of the season on. I don't know if there's one box I can put it in exactly why. It's part personnel, part of the leadership in our room. A lot of it's on our goaltender, how he plays. They believe. We're not done until they tell us we can't play any more."

"Hopefully that big win, late in the third period, is something that for them, getting to be so close to it, not getting it in front of their fans, hopefully that will start something," said Brodeur.

The 0-3 comeback hasn't happened often in sports, though occurring twice in recent years -- 2004 Boston Red Sox and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers -- has almost made the feat more realistic in 2012.

"You know it's going to happen again," said DeBoer. "So why not us?"

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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