DALLAS (AP) _ Four minutes, three New Jersey goals _ and one big problem for the defending Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars.
New Jersey’s kiddie corps got goals from rookies John Madden and Brian Rafalski during a momentum-swinging flurry in the third period and the Devils rallied for a 3-1 victory Monday night and a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup finals.
The Devils can claim the Cup for the second time in five years by winning Game 5 Thursday night in the Meadowlands.
Just as coach Larry Robinson predicted they could, the Devils stole into ever-confident Dallas to win both games against a veteran team that rarely loses big games at home and was coming off a road victory in Game 2.
The Stars have dug themselves into a hole nearly as big as the Lone Star state. Only one team in 58 years, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs against Detroit, have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the Stanley Cup finals.
Such a comeback can happen, of course; only two weeks ago, New Jersey rallied from just such a deficit to win the Eastern Conference finals against Philadelphia. The Devils are 6-1 since starting that comeback, with four of the victories in the road.
Dallas had won 11 of its last 12 home playoff games before losing 2-1 in Game 3 Saturday, then lost a lead Monday in its biggest game of the season.