KINGS 2, DEVILS 1 (OT): Jeff Carter’s goal 13:42 into overtime lifted visiting Los Angeles to a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals.
Following extended pressure in the New Jersey zone, Carter gathered the puck at the side of the New Jersey net, skated out to the top of the circles and wristed a shot that beat Devils netminder Martin Brodeur on the short side.
The win improves Los Angeles to 10-0 on the road in the postseason – and more importantly, sends the Kings back to California with a two-game lead in the best-of-seven as they seek their first Stanley Cup title.
Trailing 1-0 after 40 minutes, the Devils finally drew even 2:59 into the third period. Ryan Carter situated himself in the high slot and redirected a Marek Zidlicky point shot past Kings netminder Jonathan Quick for his fifth goal of the postseason.
The teams exchanged chances until late in regulation, when the Devils missed a golden chance to even the series as Ilya Kovalchuk rang a shot off the crossbar with 19 seconds remaining.
Quick stopped 32 shots to preserve the win. Brodeur made 30 saves in defeat.
Moments after killing off a New Jersey power play, the Kings jumped in front on a great individual effort by Drew Doughty. The superstar defenseman stickhandled from his own zone to the top of the left circle before unleashing a wrist shot that beat Martin Brodeur inside his right arm.
The Devils looked to draw even but couldn’t beat Quick, who stood his ground during two separate flurries in front of the Los Angeles net.
Los Angeles and New Jersey traded quality scoring chances early in the second, with Quick stopping Anton Volchenkov on a tricky shot from the top of the circles and Justin Williams wiring a wrist shot at the other end that Brodeur snagged with his glove.
Dainius Zubrus nearly broke the New Jersey deadlock later in the frame, but his redirection from point-blank range sailed just wide of the net. The Devils enjoyed a shorthanded break moments after that, but Quick tipped a Zach Parise pass intended for Travis Zajac just out of reach.
Quick made the save of the game with just over five minutes remaining in the period, stretching out his right leg to redirect a strange deflection on a Kings clearing attempt with the edge of his skate.
GAME NOTEBOOK: This is the first time the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals have gone to overtime since 1951, when the Montreal Canadiens opposed the Toronto Maple Leafs. The teams split the games. … The Kings went just 29-66 on the road in the playoffs from 1967-2011. … Carter scored just four times in 72 regular-season games between the Devils and Florida Panthers. … The Kings improved to 4-0 in overtime in the playoffs. The Devils dropped to 4-3.
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