With their offence misfiring and the exploits of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick mesmerizing, the New Jersey Devils stand on the verge of being swept out of the Stanley Cup Finals.
During Monday's 4-0 defeat, the Devils saw each promising opportunity blocked by the glove of Quick and resulted in New Jersey trailing 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.
"You have to give their goalie and their team some credit," subdued Devils coach Peter DeBoer told reporters. "We put up the same number of chances against Philadelphia, the Rangers, (and) we were getting goals. We're not this series."
New Jersey have scored just two goals in their three losses this series, with a miserable 0-for-12 record on the power-play.
Game Three saw the Devils get a five-on-three power-play advantage in the first period, but they came up empty in an example of how the series has gone.
Quick, who stonewalled the Devils with 22 saves on Monday, made several point blank stops including one on New Jersey captain Zach Parise in the opening period.
After pushing the Kings to razor-close overtime finishes in the first two games of the series, the Devils were broken down by the Kings at the Staple Center and appear out of answers.
"I guess it is the worst situation we could be in," said New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur, who stopped 17 shots in the defeat. "We just have to put our head down and work, and trust that the result will be there one way or the other."
If the Devils are to win Game Four on Wednesday and force the series back to New Jersey they will have to discover the offence that helped them run through the Eastern Conference as a sixth seed to set up a surprising Stanley Cup matchup.
New Jersey forwards Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk have been quick to acknowledge their need to deliver, but, at this point, the Devils may be starting to realize that even their best might not be good enough.
"The frustrating part is you're creating some quality chances, and they're not going in," DeBoer said. "We need more goals. That's pretty obvious."
(Editing by Patrick Johnston)