Adam Henrique scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:29 to play, Martin Brodeur made 21 saves, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 on Wednesday night to avoid a sweep in the Stanley Cup finals.
Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored third-period goals for the Eastern Conference champion Devils, who forced the NHL to put the Stanley Cup back in its crate for another cross-country trip. Game 5 is Saturday night in Newark, N.J.
The Kings won the first two games against the Devils in close overtime matches. Monday night was a different story as the Kings had their first easy win of the series, beating the Devils 4-0. The Kings led the best-of-seven series 3 games to none going into Wednesday night's match.
With the Kings up 3-1, the series now returns to New Jersey for Saturday's Game 5. If necessary, Game 6 will be in LA Monday.
Fans wanted Game 4 win to clinch the Stanley Cup
Many fans spent over $1,000 to witness history in Game 4, but instead they got a buzz kill. Kings fans left the Staples Center sad but peacefully as police monitored nearby bars and restaurants. There were only four arrests for disorderly conduct, battery and theft, but there were no major flare-ups.
The city wanted to avoid a repeat of what happened after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship in 2010. A small group of fans went wild, trashing cars and local businesses.
Despite the loss, fans remain optimistic about a Stanley Cup win. When asked if there will be a parade for the Kings if they win, Mayor Villaraigosa said there will be some sort of city celebration, but did not go into detail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.