Photo by Frank Franklin III/AP
NEWARK, N.J. – For a member of the Los Angeles Kings, a whirlwind season may have reached its pinnacle.
Kings center Jeff Carter scored his first career game-winning overtime goal as Los Angeles took a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. And for Carter, whose last eleven months have been full of turmoil, it was a defining moment in a career.
“This was by far the biggest,” said a smiling Carter. “It’s my first playoff overtime goal. It’s a huge one, a big one for the team, and it gets us a two game lead going back home, right where we wanted to be coming in.”
“Good to see him score,” added Kings coach Darryl Sutter. “Marty [Devils goaltender Martin Broduer] made some highlight saves tonight, against good shooters, so it was good to see him score. He’s a goal scorer. You count on him to score big goals.”
In a polar opposite of game one, it was the Devils who got off to a hot start. Clearly desperate to avoid heading back to Los Angeles in an 0-2 hole, New Jersey forechecked tenaciously, forcing Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick to make some big saves, including on an early power play. But the Devils could not break through.
The differences between the opening game of the series ended at 7:49 when Drew Doughty evoked memories of the 1995 Stanley Cup Final for Devils fans, but in a bad way. After collecting the puck behind his own net, the 22 year-old defenseman stickhandled his way through the New Jersey defense and ripped a shot into the far corner over Brodeur’s shoulder.
“I just saw some ice in front of me and decided to skate with the puck,” said 2010 Norris Trophy finalist. “I don’t know who the D man was but I tried to use him as a screen…Marty’s got that quick glove so I decided to put it blocker side. Didn’t even know it went in, actually. Thankfully, it did.”
“It’s a great play,” added Sutter. “You know what, it’s a 200 foot play. One of them coast-to-coasters. You’ll look at it a lot of times…win or lose tonight, that’s a great play.”no comments