Stanley Cup Final
Game 2 (series)
Kings 2, New Jersey Devils 1 (OT)
The good: The Kings are heading back to Los Angeles with another two-games-to-none lead thanks to three incredible individual efforts. Jeff Carter scored the second straight overtime winner for the Kings, racing down the right side and taking a shot from the right circle that New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur shoveled aside. Carter didn’t give up, collecting the puck to the left of the opposite post, circling around at the top of the left circle and letting go of his patented wrist shot from the slot, beating Brodeur down low on his stick side. That set off another wild celebration as the Kings won their 10thconsecutive road game of these playoffs, and their fourth in overtime.
Long before that play, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty gave the Kings a 1-0 lead on a play that will long be shown on highlight reels and training videos for seasons to come. Doughty began the play by beating David Clarkson to a puck that was skidding into the Kings’ defensive zone. He collected the rubber, made a wide U-turn and then skated up the middle, weaving through Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier before putting a nasty toe-drag move on Ryan Carter. He then let go of a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Brodeur over his right shoulder 7:49 into the game. Almost immediately, comparisons to NHL greats Bobby Orr, Scott Niedermayer and Paul Coffey filled the Twitter-verse. The play also put Doughty back in the running for the Conn Smythe Trophy, but it will be tough at this point to take it away from Jonathan Quick, who turned in another stellar postseason performance with 32 saves.
The bad: Realizing the best way to beat Quick was to get the puck to change directions, the Devils were looking for a high tip from the opening faceoff. They finally got one to skip past the goal line early in the third period after New Jersey defenseman Marek Zidlicky took the shot from the right point. Ryan Carter, a former Anaheim Duck, got his blade on it, bouncing it off the ice and past Quick who was screened by teammate Colin Fraser and a New Jersey player. It was the fifth goal of the postseason for Carter, who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He was called up by the Ducks heading into the 2007 postseason and appeared in four games, just enough to get his name on the Stanley Cup. The goal was the first the Kings allowed in the third period since Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals against St. Louis.
The in between: For the first time since 1951, the first two games of the Stanley Cup final went to overtime. … Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown did not have a shot on goal for the first three periods, but Penner collected one in overtime, nearly scoring in the opening two minutes. Anze Kopitar also managed just one shot on goal, but with the depth the Kings have, they can get away with that.