LOS ANGELES — After another impressive save by Jonathan Quick, Kings captain Dustin Brown skated by his goaltender, shook his head and tried unsuccessfully to not smile.
Quick had just robbed the Devils' Travis Zajac on a point-blank chance, but it has been that kind of postseason for the Kings. Whenever it seems like things can't get better for a team that needed 81 games to qualify for the playoffs, they do. Now it is one game from winning its first Stanley Cup.
Quick made 22 saves in his third shutout of the postseason, Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist, and the Kings beat the Devils 4-0 in Game 3 of the final Monday to take a 3-0 series lead.
"This was definitely our best game of the series," said defenseman Drew Doughty, who had an assist to give him at least a point in all three games. "I thought (the Devils) took it to us in the first period, but we got a lot better."
The Kings improved to 15-2 in the postseason and took a 3-0 lead in their fourth straight series, an NHL first. No team has won the Cup with a sweep since Detroit wiped out Washington in the 1998 finals. Game 4 is Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The Devils have scored two goals in the series, the fewest in first three games of a Cup final since Blues in 1969.
Asked what's missing right now, New Jersey captain Zach Parise said, "We're not scoring, that's it. We're getting cycles and opportunities, just not scoring.
"We're not going to quit until someone's won a fourth game, so we start over. We've got to win four straight. That's it."
Three NHL teams have come from 3-0 down in a series to win. The last was the 2010 Flyers — for whom current Kings Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne played — against the Bruins in the East semifinals.
The first goal of the game generated controversy. In a second-period scramble in front of the Devils' net, the puck ended up under the pad of goalie Martin Brodeur. The Kings kept whacking at it, and it eventually went it, the goal credited to Alec Martinez. Brodeur argued with the referees that the play should have been blown dead.
Said Devils coach Peter DeBoer: "That's a momentum-changing call at the time. I hope (the referee is ) right. That's an awful big call if you're wrong."
First Period—None. Penalties—Richards, LA (elbowing), 14:35; J.Carter, LA, double minor (high-sticking), 15:36; Zidlicky, NJ (tripping), 16:57.
Second Period—1, Los Angeles, Martinez 1 (King, Lewis), 5:40. 2, Los Angeles, Kopitar 8 (Brown, Williams), 15:07. Penalties—Kopitar, LA (holding), 6:16; Penner, LA (goaltender interference), 9:41; Gagne, LA (slashing), 18:30.
Third Period—3, Los Angeles, J.Carter 6 (Richards, Mitchell), 4:15 (pp). 4, Los Angeles, Williams 3 (Doughty, Kopitar), 6:47 (pp). Penalties—Fayne, NJ (cross-checking), 3:29; Zidlicky, NJ (high-sticking), 5:30. Shots on Goal—New Jersey 7-9-6—22. Los Angeles 6-9-6—21. Power-play opportunities—New Jersey 0 of 6; Los Angeles 2 of 2. Goalies—New Jersey, Brodeur 12-8-0 (21 shots-17 saves). Los Angeles, Quick 15-2-0 (22-22).
boogaard death: In his final three seasons in the league before dying last year at 28 of an accidental overdose of painkillers and alcohol, Derek Boogaard received more than 100 prescriptions for thousands of pills from more than a dozen doctors for the Wild and Rangers despite his history of addiction, the New York Times reported. Documents compiled by Boogaard's father show his prescription history. They don't show what Boogaard told the doctors or reflect whether the doctors knew what other doctors were diagnosing or prescribing, the newspaper said. The league, teams, team doctors and substance-abuse program directors involved in Boogaard's care declined to discuss any of that with the newspaper.
around the league: The Penguins got a new backup for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, acquiring Tomas Vokoun from the Capitals for a 2012 seventh-round draft pick.