NEWARK, N.J. -- For the first time in 61 years, Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final was decided in overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings won both. They now head back to Los Angeles with a 2-0 series lead.
Jeff Carter scored the game winner at 13:42 into overtime after wristing the puck past Devils goalie Marty Brodeur's stick side and giving the Kings a 2-1 victory.
The Kings are now a perfect 10-0 this post-season on the road, extending their record.
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, while the play began with a smart, soft Stephen Gionta dump-in.
With 3:05 remaining, Zubris was called for interference, however with 2:14 the teams went to four aside when Drew Doughty was called for hooking, as Zach Parise had a step on Doughty heading towards the Kings end of the ice. With just 18 ticks of the clock remaining, Ilya Kovalchuk hit the cross bar on a fluttering shot deflected by Anze Kopitar.
The Devils began the second game of the Stanley Cup Finals 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 powerplay 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 help wrist the game's first goal past Martin Brodeur at 7:49 of the first period. The goal was unassisted.
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.
Moments later, the Devils would get their third power play when Dwight King was called for high sticking.
On the power play, Ilya Kovalchuk created the lone Devils scoring chance. He sent a great pass to David Clarkson, whose great opportunity was thwarted by the Kings defense.
Late in the second period the Devils equaled all of Game 1's shot total as they recorded their 17th shot on net.
With slightly more than a minute left in the second period, the line of Carter-Richards-Dustin Penner created great scoring opportunities, but Brodeur was able to make a left leg pad save and cover the puck to end the threat.
The second period ended with the Kings leading 1-0 and with the Devils' only goal of this series so far up to that point was by Anton Volchenkov, which caromed in off Slava Voynov's shoulder in the second period of the first game.
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 kept him out of the lineup since January 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 Game 2. ... 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.