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Jeff Carter’s OT winner gives Kings 2-0 series lead over Devils

Sean Leahy
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NEWARK -- When NBC's Pierre McGuire asked Jeff Carter after Game 2 about whether or not the Los Angeles Kings' plan was to shoot low stick side on Martin Brodeur, his response was, with a smile, "I can't tell you too much, he might be watching this."

While Carter may not be jumping to divulge the Kings' plan to beat the New Jersey netminder, he will be talking a lot about his overtime winner in Game 2 to give Los Angeles a 2-1 victory over the Devils. They'll now fly home on Sunday holding a 2-0 series lead. The Kings also improved to 10-0 on the road this postseason (12-0 if you count 2011) tying the 2004 Calgary Flames and 1995 and 2000 Devils.

Carter's plan himself before his fifth goal of the playoffs was to pass to Dustin Penner, who was sitting on the backdoor of the crease waiting to tally another overtime winner. When the puck squeaked loose, Carter, still in stride, picked it up, swung around between the circles and wristed a shot past Brodeur, who was looking around defenseman Mark Fayne:

"He's a goal-scorer," said Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter afterward. "You know what, you're counting on him to score a big goal."

It had been a quiet postseason for Carter up until Game 2. Outside of his hat trick in Game 2 against the Phoenix Coyotes, he had only tallied once, which -- factoring in Los Angeles' playoff success -- meant the three-time 30-plus goal scorer was long overdue for that "big goal" Sutter talked about.

[Related: Carter's theatrics save Kings in 2-1 OT thriller | Slideshow]

The Devils played better than they did in Game 1 and again were a goal away from winning the game. Their execution, outside of a power play that went 0-for-4, was improved. Heading west and not facing the pressure of trying to salvage the series in front of their own fans, New Jersey should only continue to improve come Game 3 on Monday night. The only question will be if head coach Peter DeBoer makes any changes to the lineup (Petr Sykora, perhaps?).

To steal a line from New Jersey's own Bon Jovi, Los Angeles is now halfway there. Two more wins and they'll have captured the franchises' first Stanley Cup, but closing a series is always the most difficult task and for now the celebrations are on hold.

"You don't win the Cup winning two games in the Final," said Jarret Stoll. "You don't celebrate. We haven't won anything."

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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