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Cullen: Kings' Carter scores in OT; Devils in trouble

Scott Cullen
6/3/2012 12:40:48 AM
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Jeff Carter scored in overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final, giving the Kings a 2-0 lead in the series.

After an uninspired effort in Game One, the New Jersey Devils were better in the second game of the series, outshooting the Devils 30-21 in regulation, but when the game reached overtime, the Kings took control.

While the Devils had chances too, they were outshot 11-3 in the extra frame and the 11th shot was Carter's wrist shot through a crowd of Devils that beat Martin Brodeur low to the blocker side and now the Devils are faced with the daunting task of trying to come back from a two-game deficit with the next two games in Los Angeles.

Kings defenceman Drew Doughty scored the game's opening goal on a nice end-to-end rush, beating forechecker David Clarkson, letting neutral ice checkers peel away and then snapping a wrist shot past Brodeur.

Ryan Carter continued his eye-opening playoff performance for the Devils, scoring the tying goal on a long-distance deflection of Marek Zidlicky's point shot. Carter has five goals in 19 playoff games after tallying four in 72 regular-season games.

There were a couple of significant players that were held without a shot in the game; Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown, who was tied with Anze Kopitar for the team-lead with 52 shots on goal in 15 games, didn't register a shot in more than 27 minutes of action Saturday, while Adam Henrique didn't have a shot on goal in 21:30 for the Devils. (To his credit, for those interested in advanced stats, Henrique tied for the game's best Corsi among forwards, www.timeonice.com).

Even as the Devils have to be disappointed with the result, down by the thinnest of margins -- two overtime defeats -- they have a chance if they can muster up some offence.

Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias are coming under fire for a lack of production and there is ample reason to believe that Kovalchuk is injured (recall that he missed a game against Philadelphia due to a back injury), so it's not going to be easy to generate offence, but if the Devils can't get production from a trio that combined for 230 points in the regular season, then the odds are stacked against them.

From the Kings' perspective, they can keep doing what they've been doing. Goaltender Jonathan Quick has allowed two or fewer goals against in 14 of 16 playoff games this year, which makes it very difficult to imagine that the Devils will be able to take four out of the next five games.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.



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