Jeff Carter scored the game winner late in overtime on Saturday to lift Los Angeles to a 2-1 win over New Jersey, giving the Kings a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Carter scored with 6 minutes, 18 seconds left in the extra session, extending the Kings’ road win streak to 10-0 in the postseason as they now head back to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4 in the NHL championship series.
Carter took a shot from the right side then raced around the back of the goal where he collected his own rebound before beating Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur with a long wrist shot through a tangle of legs and sticks.
“I just took it wide and came around the net and tried to get it out of the way of all the sticks and it went home,” Carter said.
It was the second straight game the Kings have won in overtime and it is the first time since 1951 that the opening two contests of the Stanley Cup Finals have gone into an extra session.
“We will enjoy this one tonight, but then we have to put it behind us,” Carter said.
Defenseman Drew Doughty opened the scoring in the first period for the Kings, whose 10 consecutive road wins are a league record for the most in a single postseason.
The Kings are making their second appearance in the Stanley Cup finals and are now just two wins away from their first NHL title.
They played the role of giant killers to reach the finals, knocking off the West’s top three seeds — Vancouver, St Louis and Phoenix — and Saturday’s win was also the result of patience and hard work, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
“Tonight was heavy lifting,” Sutter said. “You know, it was along the boards. Their defense are coming down. Quite honest, for probably a good part of two periods, they were controlling that part of the boards. Hey, you know what, we’ll have our work cut out going home.”
New Jersey tied it up 1-1 early in the third when forward Ryan Carter tipped a Marek Zidlicky shot past Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick. It was his fifth goal of the postseason.
Doughty’s third goal of this year’s playoffs was a thing of beauty. Starting in his own end, he beat several New Jersey players in the neutral zone before carrying the puck over the Devils’ blue line where he blasted a high wrist shot past Brodeur 7:49 into the first.
Doughty also assisted on the Kings’ overtime winner in Game 1.
Both goalies were outstanding in Game 2. New Jersey outshot the Kings 10-6 in the first period, but Quick kept Los Angeles in it with some superb saves, including one off a deflection in close by Dainius Zubrus. Quick finished with 32 saves.
Brodeur, who had 30 total saves, was the busier goalie in the second period. At one point, he had to flash out his glove to stop a hard, high shot from Kings forward Colin Fraser to keep the score close.
Both teams were guilty of bad giveaways with the score tied. Kings forward Dustin Brown turned the puck over in the final minute of the third, but the Devils’ Ilya Kovalchuk ringed the shot off the crossbar. Then in overtime Kovalchuk had a giveaway of his own, but Brodeur came up with the save.