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Carter's OT goal gives Kings victory, 2-0 series lead

The SportsXchange

NEWARK, N.J. -- For the first time in 61 years, Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final were decided in overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings won both. Jeff Carter scored the game-winner Saturday night 13:42 into overtime with a wrist shot past goalie Marty Brodeur's stick side, giving the Kings a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night in Los Angeles.

"I kept going around the net and the puck came back to me," said Carter. "It's a pretty special moment."

The Kings are 10-0 this postseason on the road, extending their record.?

"It's unfortunate," Brodeur said. "But with a little luck, we could be up 2-0."

The Devils tied the game at 2:59 into the third period. The Devils' fourth line, which has been so vital in New Jersey's playoff success, once again came through as Ryan Carter deflected a Marek Zidlicky point shot past goalie Jonathan Quick to tie the score at one. Steve Bernier was awarded the secondary assist on the play, which began with a smart, soft Stephen Gionta dump-in.

"They did their part," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said of his fourth-liners. "They have the entire playoff. We just have to keep getting efforts like that from them."

With 3:05 remaining, Zubris was called for interference, but with 2:14 left the teams went to four aside when Drew Doughty was called for hooking, as Zach Parise had a step on Doughty heading toward the Kings end of the ice. With just 18 ticks of the clock remaining, Ilya Kovalchuk hit the crossbar on a fluttering shot deflected by Anze Kopitar.

The Devils began the second game of the Stanley Cup final with a lot more jump than in the series opener.

The Devils' early pressure produced a power play when a frustrated Matt Greene crosschecked Ryan Carter across the chest in front of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. However the best chance of the power play came for the club that was shorthanded, when Trevor Lewis streaked up the right side and ripped a shot that was turned aside by Brodeur.

Only minutes later, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty made moves around Carter and Stephen Gionta, then used Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador as a screen to wrist the game's first goal past Martin Brodeur at 7:49 of the first period. The goal was unassisted.

"I just saw some ice in front of me," said Doughty. "(I) Decided to skate with the puck. I don't know who the D man was, but I tried to use him as a screen. Marty has that quick glove, so I went blocker side. I didn't even know it went in, actually, but luckily it did."

Seven seconds after the Kings made the score 1-0, Willie Mitchell took the Kings' second penalty when he crosschecked Danius Zubris. The Devils, however, were unable to convert, making them 0-2 on the power play halfway through the first.

Great chances would then come at both ends, however a Zubrus redirect was handled well by a sharp Quick, while Brodeur stopped Mike Richards from point-blank range.

Despite the Devils taking 11 shots -- two more than Game 1's first two period total of nine -- they still however finished the first period down 1-0.

The first half of the second period was relatively even. However, nearly halfway through, Carter and Richards connected on some nifty passing, and the scoring opportunity produced a Kings power play as Andy Green headed to the penalty box for tripping Carter in front of the Devils goal. But the Devils successfully killed the Kings' second man advantage of the night.

Despite the series moving to Los Angeles on Monday and Wednesday evenings for Games 3 and 4 with the Kings owning a 2-0 lead, both games have been close.

Said coach Daryl Sutter, "Hey, you know what, we'll have our work cut out going home."

NOTES: The Devils have started each of their 2012 playoff series down 0-1. But each of the three previous series openers were lost on the road, while Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals was lost in New Jersey. ... Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder has been cleared to play after recovering from a blood clot, which has kept him out of the lineup since Jan. 17. ... NHL Draft prospects Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Mikhail Grigorenko, Alex Galchenyuk, Morgan Rielly and Filip Forsberg all visited both dressing rooms after the morning skate and were in attendance for the second game of the Stanley Cup finals. ... Both the temperature and the humidity levels in the Prudential Center were drastically reduced with the hope of producing ice conditions better than Game 1.

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