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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Detroit Bedevilled in Game 3 Loss

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey -- All that remains to be settled after three games of the Stanley Cup finals is where the New Jersey Devils will hold their victory parade -- and whether the parade route ends in Nashville, Tennessee.


So thoroughly did the Devils stifle the Detroit Red Wings' offense and spirits in a 5-2 rout at the Meadowlands Arena Thursday, Detroit's Scotty Bowman ranked it the low point of his hall-of-fame coaching career.


The Devils built a 5-0 lead midway through the third period and shut out the Red Wings until Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman scored on power plays in the last 3:03, making the final result what Bowman called "a good publicity score'' but providing little reason to believe the Red Wings can erase the Devils' 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.


Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs have rallied from that far back in the finals to win the Cup.


The defense Bowman had so carefully choreographed all season was shredded by the Devils, who on Saturday have a chance to win their first championship in what might be the franchise's final game in New Jersey before a possible move to Nashville. A fifth game, if necessary, would be played Monday in Detroit.


"I was embarrassed -- humiliated, actually,'' Bowman said. "I have lost and won a lot of games, even the first year I was in the league with the St. Louis Blues, but we were never humiliated and embarrassed like we were tonight for two periods. A lot of players would give their eyeteeth to take a shift in the finals. It's totally unacceptable. It was an embarrassment to the National Hockey League.''


It was also a credit to the Devils, who had goals from five players and held Detroit to only 12 shots in the first 40 minutes.


After Martin Brodeur's desperate lunge kept Kris Draper's rebound attempt from going over the goal line at 3:30, the Devils seemed to take heart and picked up the offensive pace. Bruce Driver started the romp with a blast from five feet inside the blue line during a power play at 10:30, and Claude Lemieux strengthened his bid for most-valuable-player honors by scoring his 13th playoff goal, a blistering shot that darted through Mike Vernon's leg pads at 16:52.


Neal Broten's 30-foot slap shot through a screen at 6:59 of the second period drew roars from the sellout crowd of 19,040, and Randy McKay's close-in shot at 8:20 inspired chants of "We want the Cup.'' It also sent Detroit goalie Mike Vernon to the bench.


"Now's the time to look in the mirror," said Draper after the game.


"Now's the gut check, fellas.''