Kings beat Devils in overtime, take 2-0 lead in Stanley Cup finals
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org June 3, 2012 12:35AM
The Kings’ Dustin Penner (right) celebrates after teammate Jeff Carter scored the game-winner. | Frank Franklin II~AP
STANLEY CUP FINALS
KINGS VS. DEVILS
Kings lead series 2-0
All games at 7 p.m.
Game 1: Kings 2, at Devils 1 (OT)
Game 2: Kings 2, at Devils 1 (OT)
Monday: at Kings, NBCSN.
Wednesday: at Kings, NBCSN.
x-Saturday: at Devils, Ch. 5.
x-June 11: at Kings, Ch. 5.
x-June 13: at Devils, Ch. 5.
x- if necessary
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:13AM
NEWARK, N.J. — It was appropriate that winger Jeff Carter and defenseman Drew Doughty sat triumphantly together in the interview room buried deep in the Prudential Center after another dramatic overtime victory for the Los Angeles Kings.
They deserved to be there after scoring the Kings’ goals in their 2-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday. And they were the ones worthy of the attention as the Kings head back home with a 2-0 series lead and a ton of swagger and momentum.
Just don’t tell them that.
“Mine was lucky,” Carter said
“I didn’t even know [my shot] went in, actually,” Doughty said.
It wasn’t long ago that the two heroes were two of the more notable goats of the regular season. Both were disappointments with big contracts in hand for teams that were grossly underachieving.
Doughty had an erratic season for the Kings, finishing with 36 points after having 40 and a stellar 59 the previous two seasons. He has admitted more than once during the finals that the pressure of having an eight-year, $56 million deal got to him, especially after sitting out training camp.
As for Carter, he was shipped by the Flyers to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets as Philadelphia underwent an overhaul. It was a move that seemingly infuriated Carter, who also has a long, lucrative deal. He had a disgruntled, injury-plagued run in Columbus that consisted of only 39 games before he was traded to the Kings.
But on Saturday, the two stars came through as they’ve been billed during their careers.
There was Doughty, showing off the skills that make him so coveted at a time when puck-moving blue-liners are sought after more than centers by some teams.
Doughty deftly stick-handled through a few Devils and fired a shot past Martin Brodeur (30 saves) for an unassisted goal 7:49 into the first period.
“I just saw some ice in front of me and decided to skate with the puck,” Doughty said.
There was Carter, scoring at 13:42 in overtime to give the Kings their 10th consecutive win on the road this postseason and the stranglehold on the series.
A pure goal scorer, Carter’s shot found its way through a traffic jam in front of Brodeur, who had to deal with Dustin Penner in his face. Carter called it the biggest goal of his career.
“I’m just looking for anything, really,” Carter said. “In playoff hockey, you put it on net as much as you can. It’s usually a cheesy goal.”
Both seemed to downplay their goals for the Kings, who received another standout performance from Jonathan Quick (32 saves). But the Devils, who got a goal from fourth-liner Ryan Carter, now have to win four of five to steal the Stanley Cup.
“We have to go back to L.A. as if the series is just starting,” Doughty said.
Doughty has put together a Conn Smythe Trophy-worthy postseason with three goals and 12 points in 16 games. Carter has provided the Kings with another offensive threat.
“You’re counting on him to score a big goal,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
Sutter called the Game 2 win “heavy lifting.”
Doughty and Carter definitely did their part.