The hockey world was shocked last summer when the Philadelphia Flyers shipped Mike Richards and Jeff Carter out of town. But that move is paying off now, just not for Philly. Richards and Carter, who lost in the Cup Final with the Flyers in 2010, were reunited at the trade deadline -- this time in Los Angeles -- and the team has turned up the heat. Carter in particular scored a hat trick in the third round of the playoffs and has a goal in each of the past two games. Not too bad for two guys who weren't wanted by their former team less than a year ago.
Can the Kings win it all?
Even though they're up 3-0 in this series, the Kings have not let themselves ever get too excited. "Once you get on the ice, you're not thinking this is a possible Stanley Cup-clinching game," Kings captain Dustin Brown said after LA's Game 3 win. They'll have to carry that business-like mentality into Game 4 with the Cup on the line. A little something from everybody, starting from the back with goalie Jonathan Quick, will go a long way. On the other hand, both of the Kings' losses in these playoffs have come in Game 4 when they could have closed out a team.
The Devils went 0-for-6 on the power play in Game 3 and haven't scored on a power play during this series. The Devils took heat from the media after not scoring on a 5-on-3 advantage late in the first period in Game 3. To make matters worse, the Kings' dreadful power play decided to come to life on Monday, going 2-for-2. This special teams battle will be an important one as the Devils fight to live on and the Kings fight to close out.
Who could nab the Conn Smythe?
Before the Stanley Cup Final began, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and captain Dustin Brown were both on the radar for the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the playoffs. Quick has brought his game to another level in the Final, allowing just two goals against the Devils, including a Game 3 shutout. Brown, on the other hand, hasn't dominated this series like he did others. If the Kings win Game 4, Quick is the likely shoe-in for the award. But fans should also keep an eye on Anze Kopitar. The two-way centerman has scored two big goals in the series, including the OT-winner in Game 1 on a breakaway against Martin Brodeur.
Can the Devils pick one up?
The Kings are ahead 3-0 after a blow out in Game 3 while the Devils continue to flounder. New Jersey is in a huge hole, but that may just be the motivating factor they need to go all out and at least pick up one win in this series. It's become more and more likely that the Devils won't be win the Cup this year, but they still have hope to at least get back to the Prudential Center and play one more game in front of the home crowd.