L.A. Kings Closing in on First Title
Charles E. Sutton | 6/6/2012, 1:37 p.m.
The Los Angeles Kings moved within two games of their first NHL championship with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday night.
Drew Doughty scored on an outstanding end-to-end rush and Jonathan Quick made 32 saves as the Kings won their 10th straight road game this postseason, and their 12th consecutive over the past two seasons. Both are NHL records.
The Kings are 14-2 in the playoffs and are starting to dream of a championship finish to a great season. "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."
The New Jersey Devils are in desperate need of a victory in Game 3 at the Staples Center on Monday night. New Jersey captain Zach Parise said it will be difficult to beat L.A. 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 Stanley Cup Finals marked the first time in 61 years that Games 1 and 2 were decided in overtime. The last time was the magnificent 1951 Stanley Cup matchup, where all five games between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens went to extra time. The Maple Leafs won the Cup.
Jeff Carter ended Saturday night's game with a stellar individual effort after the Kings outshot the Devils, 11-3, in overtime. The Devils were kept in the game by a solid performance by goalie Martin Brodeur.
Carter gathered a rebound from behind the goal, keeping New Jersey from getting a much-needed line change. He skated into the slot, from Brodeur's right-hand side, and took a wrist shot that beat the standout goaltender along the ice on his stick side with Penner in front of the net as a screen.
"I wasn't scouting Marty at the time," Penner said. "I was just trying to get to the front of the net... it's got a pretty good chance of going in if there is traffic in front."