Devils captain Zach Parise ended a five-game goal drought on a rare mistake by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for his first point of the series, and Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots to help New Jersey end the Kings' 10-game postseason winning streak on the road and 12-game run over the past two years, both NHL records.
"Our best players were our best players," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said.
Justin Williams scored for the Kings, whose 3-0 series lead has been cut to 3-2 by their first two-game losing streak of the postseason.
Game 6 is Monday night in Los Angeles.
The Devils are the third team to force a Game 6 in the Cup final after trailing 3-0. The others are the 1945 Red Wings and the 1942 Maple Leafs. Only the Leafs ended up winning the series.
"There's no doubt in my mind this is something we can accomplish," Devils rookie center Adam Henrique said.
The Kings haven't played terribly in losing the past two games, but the Devils have made the plays when it counted and gotten breaks when they needed them.
Take Salvador's winner, his first goal in seven games. His shot from the left point was deflected right in front of Quick, hit off the chest of Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and rebounded into the net at 9:05 of the second period.
It was the second time in this series a point shot by a Devils defenseman hit off Voynov and caromed past his goaltender.
Said Kings coach Darryl Sutter, "We're probably saying what (the Devils) said after Games 1 and 2, where we got breaks and now they did."
Salvador's goal, his fourth of the playoffs (he had three goals in the regular season), turned out to be the winner because of Brodeur and more breaks. Los Angeles had one shot hit off the goalpost and had a goal by Jarret Stoll on a second-period power play waved off because he hit the rebound with his stick too high.
"We kept our composure," New Jersey wing Alexei Ponikarovsky said. "It was a must win. … We had to work and battle for every inch of ice."
The Kings seemingly had the territorial advantage in the opening period, but they also made the biggest mistake. And it came from a guy who has been almost flawless in the postseason, Quick.
With Los Angeles' Willie Mitchell serving the final 20 seconds of a penalty for interference, Quick played a puck in front of his net and tried to send it around the net into the corner. The puck slid off his stick, went around the net and barely made it to the right edge of the crease.
Parise darted to the edge of the net and stuffed it home for a 1-0 lead a split second before Quick could cover the corner of the net.
"We capitalized on a mistake," DeBoer said. "But it's nice that we're finding some holes in them right now."
Earlier in the penalty, Quick made a stop on a point-blank blast by Travis Zajac. The puck momentarily got through his pads and lay in the crease, but defenseman Drew Doughty quickly cleared it.
First Period—1, New Jersey, Parise 8, 12:45 (pp). Penalties—Mitchell, LA (interference), 11:00.
Second Period—2, Los Angeles, Williams 4 (M.Greene), 3:26. 3, New Jersey, Salvador 4 (Ponikarovsky, Zajac), 9:05. Penalties—Fayne, NJ (delay of game), 9:33; Salvador, NJ (high-sticking), 18:38.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Brown, LA (holding stick), 5:51; Penner, LA (roughing), 18:24; Ponikarovsky, NJ (roughing), 18:24. Shots on Goal—Los Angeles 7-10-9—26. New Jersey 4-12-3—19. Power-play opportunities—Los Angeles 0 of 2; New Jersey 1 of 2. Goalies—Los Angeles, Quick 15-4-0 (19 shots-17 saves). New Jersey, Brodeur 14-8-0 (26-25).