Although the Kings took an early lead after a superb individual effort by Doughty -- "one of them coast-to-coast things," as Sutter put it later -- the team as a whole was under assault. The Devils' defensemen were active, and their forecheck much more effective. The Kings wound up spending far too much time in their own end, and for the first time in a while, Kopitar's line did not prevail in possession.
LA hung on until Ryan Carter tipped Zidlicky's shot from the point to tie it early in the third. The Devils kept pressing, but Jonathan Quick kept his team in it. Thanks to him, the Kings squeaked into overtime despite being out-shot and out-chanced in regulation.
That's when the Kings found an extra gear. In a remarkable turnaround, they out-shot the Devils 11-3 in OT, with scoring chances 7-2 in their favor. It's fitting that the second line--some of the Kings' best forwards all night--got the game winner. Jeff Carter (everyone's favorite frat boy) became the hero, but Richards was one of my stars.
Highlights and interviews after the jump.
Peter DeBoer's postgame interview was calm and matter-of-fact.
Doughty rightly pointed out that it's time for the Kings to actually, you know, play a good game in the Final:
So Kings head back home to Los Angeles with yet another 2-0 series lead, and an improbable 10-0 playoff road record. Just don't ask Sutter if he wants to talk about that.
The final scoring chance total wound up nearly even thanks to their pushback in the extra frame, but we can expect our coach to crack the whip and demand more from the Kings in Game 3.
What's your mood heading into Monday? I haven't figured out my own personal ratio of excited/nervous versus concerned/confident. I still have to pinch myself every time I see "Stanley Cup Final."
I can't wait to hear the crowd roar at Staples. Damn, what a ride.