NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - The prospect of playing Game Five of the Stanley Cup finals in Newark on Saturday has raised the confidence levels of both the New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings.
While the Devils are thrilled to return home after staving off elimination in the best-of-seven series in California on Wednesday, the Kings are just as happy to be away from home.
The Western Conference champions are 10-0 on the road during the playoffs, including the first two games of the final against New Jersey, and believe they can extend their streak on Saturday to wrap up the National Hockey League's championship.
"I don't think our team is going to struggle with confidence," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter told reporters on Friday.
The Kings missed their chance to clinch the title at home but captain Dustin Brown, the team's second-leading scorer with 17 points in the playoffs, said his team were determined to finish it off in New Jersey.
"There was a letdown after not sealing the deal in Game Four with our home crowd," said Brown. "Everyone wakes up the next morning and understands the situation we're in, not only the opportunity but the responsibility to be better in Game Five."
The odds are heavily stacked in favor of the Kings as no team has come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup in 70 years.
"You know it's going to happen again. So why not us?" Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "You're not going to go 200 years without someone else doing it. So it's been long enough, it might as well be us."
New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner who stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced in Wednesday's 3-1 win, said the Devils were growing in confidence the longer the series went.
"I'm enjoying this ride. It's been great all throughout the playoffs. Definitely I'd like to have a little more success in the finals here," said Brodeur.
"We're still alive, looking to create that success, win again. We're happy as a team to be in this position, fight for the Cup. We're not going to give up."
New Jersey forward David Clarkson said the Devils were glad to be back despite losing the first two games in overtime at the Prudential Center.
"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," he said.
"It's great to be able to come home. It was a nice flight when you know you're coming home. It's ahead of us. We're going to give it everything we have."
(Reporting by Julian Linden in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)