It was another complete effort by the Los Angeles Kings, a term that now seems to be a cliché that will be forever connected with this team. The Kings won Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, 4-0 against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night with stellar play from the ever consistent Jonathan Quick who posted a shutout, and the dynamic Jeff Carter, who scored the first Stanley Cup Playoffs hat trick for the Kings since Wayne Gretzky did it in 1993 against Toronto. The Phoenix Coyotes, after switching their forward lines up for Game 2, came out with more energy, but were unable to sustain for the long haul, and once again, were outplayed by the Kings.
In the first period, it seemed that the Coyotes may have an answer for the Kings. The play went back and forth, with both teams creating good scoring opportunities. The Kings struck first on a goal by Dwight King, his fourth of the playoffs, and third in the last two games. The play was set up with Trevor Lewis playing the puck around the boards to Drew Doughty who shot it on net where King was able to deflect it in past Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. The Kings then scored again in the second period, where a great effort in the corner by Kings center Mike Richards and winger Dustin Penner, set up Jeff Carter for a shot in the slot. Carter appeared to fan on the shot, but was able to get just enough on it to get it past Smith. The game then took a nasty turn. After Keith Yandle took a roughing penalty for punching Brad Richardson in the face during a scrum in front of the Phoenix net, Daymond Langkow slashed Dustin Brown. Immediately afterwards, as Trevor Lewis was playing the puck back to Kings defenseman Drew Doughty at the point, the Coyotes captain Shane Doan hit Lewis into the boards in what would result in a five minute major and a game misconduct. Then just a minute and a half later, Mike Smith took a horrific slashing penalty on the back of the leg of Dustin Brown, sending him sprawling to the ice. The referees called Smith for a minor slashing penalty as well as surprisingly calling Brown for embellishment. The Kings then scored on a 5 on 3 powerplay with Jeff Carter netting his second goal of the game when Anze Kopitar’s shot deflected off his shin and into the net. In the third period, the dirty play continued. After Brown chipped the puck into the Phoenix zone, he went to play it in the corner and was run into the boards by Martin Hanzal; a clear cut boarding penalty. Hanzal was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for the hit and could very well face supplemental discipline. Derek Morris then took a kneeing penalty on Rob Scuderi, giving the Kings a 5 on 3 powerplay once again. It didn’t take long for the Kings to strike, as Jeff Carter put in the rebound from a Dustin Brown shot to complete the natural hat trick. As the game was winding down, Dustin Penner for LA and Antoine Vermette for Phoenix were both given ten minute misconducts for roughing, subsequently ending both of their nights early. Jonathan Quick posted his second shutout of the 2012 Playoffs with 24 saves on the night.
With the win in Game 2, the Kings head back to Staples Center for the third straight time with a 2-0 lead in the series. The Kings have now won 7 straight games on the road in the 2012 Playoffs and also have equaled the longest unbeaten streak on the road in the playoffs, 9 games, dating back to Game 2 in San Jose last year. The record was set by the New York Islanders in 1983-84.
3 Stars of Game 2:
1. Jeff Carter 3 goals, +1 rating, 5 SOG, 18:33 time on the ice
2. Jonathan Quick 24 save shutout
3. Anze Kopitar 2 assists, 2 SOG, 23:24 TOI