NEWARK, N.J. — Jeff Carter scored at 13:42 in overtime and the Los Angeles Kings moved within two wins of their first NHL title with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday night.
Jonathan Quick made 32 saves and Drew Doughty scored on a magnificent end-to-end rush as the Kings won their 10th straight road game this postseason, and their 12th in a row over the last two seasons. Both are NHL records.
The Kings are now 14-2 in the playoffs, and they once again have another opponent wondering what's going on. Meanwhile, L.A. is beginning to dream about a championship finish for its amazing postseason run.
"I think you obviously think about that," Kings forward Dustin Penner said of the title. "Like now, we may get a little nostalgic and think, you know, two more wins and we make history. When it comes to Monday and Wednesday night, we won't be thinking that way. We'll be just thinking that game, that shift, that period, the next goal. That's how we've done it all playoffs."
New Jersey had won eight of 10 games in beating the Flyers and Rangers in the last two rounds in the Eastern Conference. Now the Devils are in desperate need of a victory in Game 3 at the Staples Center on Monday night.
Devils captain Zach Parise said it will be hard to beat the Kings four times in five games.
"They are a great team, but it's not like we got blown out the last two games," Parise said. "It will be really hard but we will give it our best shot."
This marked the first time in 61 years that Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup finals were decided in overtime. The last occasion was the epic 1951 Stanley Cup matchup, where all five games between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens went to extra time. The Maple Leafs captured the Cup.
Carter ended this one with a great individual effort after the Kings outshot New Jersey 11-3 in OT, and only Martin Brodeur kept the Devils in the game.
Carter, one of a handful of former Philadelphia Flyers playing for the Kings, corralled a rebound from behind the net, preventing the Devils from grabbing a much-needed line change. He rolled around into the slot, from Brodeur's right-hand side, and let a wrist shot off that beat the standout goaltender along the ice on his stick side with Penner in front of the net as a screen, left unguarded.
"I wasn't scouting Marty at the time," Penner said. "I was just trying to get to the front of the net, and whenever a right or left shot is wheeling around the top of the circle, and shoots across the grain, it's got a pretty good chance of going in if there is traffic in front."
It was Carter's fifth of the postseason and it gave the Kings another big advantage in a series. The eighth-seeded Kings opened 3-0 leads in each of the first three rounds in the Western Conference.
That could come on Monday, when Game 3 is held in Los Angeles.
On this night, the Kings all gathered around Carter just off the Brodeur's left in the faceoff circle. For the second time in as many games, Brodeur looked up to the sky, picked himself up, and skated off an overtime loser at home.
The Devils' best OT chance came when Quick stopped a blast by Kovalchuk in the opening minutes. The Russian nearly won the game in the closing seconds of regulation after a turnover set him up in the right circle, but his shot banged off the crossbar after Kings center Anze Kopitar hurried the attempt.
Parise also had a jam shot on the edge of the crease with 4:08 to play and a shot from the left circle that Quick smothered with 90 seconds to go in regulation.
Brodeur also came up big in the third period. He stopped Kopitar, who had the overtime score in Game 1, in close with 10:30 left in the period, and Dwight King from the right circle less than a minute later.
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