Jeff Carter Keys Kings Game 2 Win Over Phoenix Coyotes

By Randy Holt

The Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes come out of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals looking and feeling very different.

For the Coyotes, they are in danger of seeing their surprising postseason run come to an abrupt and ugly end. Three players are potentially facing some sort of discipline from the NHL, and they haven’t really appeared to be in either of the two games, both of which were at home.

The Kings, on the other hand, hold a 2-0 lead and while you shouldn’t expect them to make things any easier for Phoenix, they’re at least able to focus on the positives after their 4-0 win in Game 2, and they weren’t exactly in short supply.

Los Angeles emerged from Game 2 healthy, which is a big positive considering the fact that the Coyotes lost any composure and resorted to making runs at guys like Dustin Brown. You can also look at the fact that Jonathan Quick added another shutout to his impressive season.

But the big story for the Kings after Game 2 was Jeff Carter. Up until Tuesday, Carter was having a quiet postseason for the Kings, who acquired him from the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to the trade deadline, reuniting him with Mike Richards.

Carter posted nine points in 16 regular season games with the Kings, including six goals. His postseason has been quiet, despite the success of this Kings squad, with a pair of assists against the Vancouver Canucks and a goal and an assist in four games against the St. Louis Blues.

Tuesday was a different story for Carter, though, who exploded for a playoff hat trick in the rout.

Carter’s first goal made it 2-0 Kings, on a nice set up from big forward Dustin Penner. The latter two goals came on 5-on-3 advantages for the Kings, who spent a good chunk of Game 2 with the man advantage.

The second goal was initially credited to Anze Kopitar, but later changed to Carter, who deflected it past Mike Smith. The dagger that made it 4-0 came off of the rebound, giving Carter the first Kings playoff hat trick since Wayne Gretzky.

This one is sure to do plenty of Carter’s confidence. He had struggled this postseason, and during the season overall. Putting yet another player with confidence on the offensive end is only going to make this Kings team more dangerous, as they continue to send a message in these Stanley Cup Playoffs.

You can see video of Carter’s trio of Game 2 goals below:

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