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Saturday, June 2, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Kings 2, Devils 1 (OT)

By Katie Strang



What it means: The Devils now face a daunting two-game hole after surrendering their second overtime loss this series. L.A.'s Jeff Carter tallied the game winner in the sudden-death session to give the Kings a 2-1 win and a 2-0 series lead with their 10th straight road victory.

Making history: Saturday marked the first time in 61 years that both Games 1 and 2 went into overtime. The last time it happened was in 1951, when all five games between the Leafs and Canadiens required extra time.

Carter comes through: With his fifth goal of the playoffs, Ryan Carter knotted the teams at 1-1 with his redirection of Marek Zidlicky at 2:59 of the third. Ryan Carter's equalizer was yet another triumph of the Devils' sensational fourth line, which has chipped in with 10 goals this postseason. Ryan Carter's linemate Stephen Gionta then leveled Colin Fraser in the neutral zone on the next shift to ignite a New Jersey crowd that was still buzzing from the tying goal.

Kovalchuk hurting: Held off the score sheet for the second straight game, Ilya Kovalchuk's ineffectual play begs the question: Is he injured? The 30-year-old sniper missed a game during the Devils' semifinals series against the Flyers with a back issue, and if his inconsistent production continues, speculation about his health will only continue. Kovalchuk had the chance to win it for the Devils late in the game but he sent the puck high off the crossbar with 14 seconds left in regulation.

Loading up: With his team scoreless after two periods, Devils coach Pete DeBoer tried to spark some life into his club by loading up the top line. DeBoer moved Kovalchuk up to play with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac to begin the third period.

Doughty dominates: Drew Doughty's Conn Smythe candidacy was fortified with a jaw-dropping play that gave the Kings a 1-0 lead in the first period. The elite puck-moving defenseman did just that, stickhandling past two Devils and using a third as a screen as he ripped a shot past Martin Brodeur at 7:49. Doughty now has three goals and nine assists for 12 points through 16 games for the Kings.

Best chance yet: The Devils’ best chance through the first 40 minutes came on a shorthanded rush with defenseman Andy Greene in the box for tripping. Zajac made a beautiful pass to set up Parise at the right post, but Parise missed the net wide on his backhanded redirection attempt at 9:52.

Flashing the glove: With Jonathan Quick frustrating the Devils at the other end, Brodeur was doing his best to keep his squad in the game. The 40-year-old veteran flashed the glove to make a couple nice saves in the middle frame, snagging Justin Williams' try at 2:47 then denying Dustin Penner with 7:23 left in the period.

Boo birds: Blanked on their fourth straight power play of the game, the Devils were rocked with a round of boos from the home crowd at Prudential Center during the second period. They have been held without a man-up goal on all six attempts this series.

Up next: Devils at Kings, Game 3 at 8 p.m. Monday.