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|Kings both lucky and good in 2-1 win|
|Written by Denis Gorman|
|Sunday, 03 June 2012 03:43|
The saying goes that you'd rather be lucky than good. On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Kings were a bit of both in their 2-1 overtime victory against the New Jersey Devils.NEWARK, N.J. — It is the sport’s eternal debate: Skill versus will.
While a clear winner has yet to be determined – and, truth be told, never will be determined – what is obvious to all after nearly seven periods of hockey over two games of the Stanley Cup Final is that the Los Angeles Kings’ skill has overcome the New Jersey Devils’ will.
The Kings lead the best-of-7 series two games to none after their 2-1 overtime win over the Devils in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on Saturday night. Game 3 is Monday night at Staples Center.
Los Angeles has outscored New Jersey, 4-2, in the first two games. Three of the Kings’ four goals have been scored by skill players Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter. Doughty and Carter scored both of the Kings’ goals last night. Ryan Carter scored the Devils’ lone goal. Carter’s goal 2:59 into the third period tied the game at 1-1.
Doughty channeled Scott Niedermayer in Game 2 of the 1995 Stanley Cup Final in the game-opening score last night. The Kings’ precocious 22-year old defenseman skated through the Devils before ripping a laser that beat Martin Brodeur, who finished with 30 saves, stick side.
Doughty’s formal introduction to a national audience was nothing less than an act of athletic brilliance on the sport’s pre-eminent stage.
“I actually remember Niedermayer when he played in New Jersey having a couple end-to-enders," Doughty said. "He was an unbelievable player here, everywhere he played. I always wanted to emulate him. He always scored some highlight goals that I remember. I just saw some ice in front of me [and] 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.”
The Devils made good on their promise of a stronger effort than the one they offered in Game 1. They were able to play with the puck and nearly doubled their shot output from Wednesday, finishing with 33.
But they did not get in front of Jonathan Quick, who ended the night with 32 saves.
“Yeah, I think we need to keep getting traffic to the net,” Stephen Gionta admitted. “We need to keep getting pucks to the net and hopefully the bounces go our way.”
Such as the one the Kings got on Carter’s game-winner. The right wing blew past Andy Greene and fired a backhander that Brodeur stopped. Carter gained control of the loose puck behind the net and skated to the high slot before ripping shot that beat Brodeur blocker side.
“Just tried to turn and get it to the net," Carter said. "I tried to hit [Dustin Penner] back door. It kind of popped out to me. I had someone's stick in the lane (and I) just tried to get out of the way, get it on net. I think this is by far the biggest (goal of my career). I think it's my first playoff overtime goal. It's a huge one. It's a big one for the team. (It) gets us a two-game lead here. (It) gets us where we wanted to be coming in here.”
The Kings return back to Los Angeles halfway to winning the first Cup in franchise history because of their skill.
You can follow us on Twitter @HockeyPrimeTime and @DenisGorman.
Photos by Getty Images
|Last Updated on Sunday, 03 June 2012 12:06|