NHL Playoffs 2012: Jeff Carter’s Hat Trick Carries Kings to a 2-0 Series Lead

Game 2 of the Western Conference Championships saw the Los Angeles Kings shut out the Phoenix Coyotes 4-0, earning them a 2-0 series lead. Their strong start to this series is helping them close in on their first conference title since 1993. Winning the Western Conference Championship would put them in reach of their ultimate goal: securing the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

In Game 2, Jeff Carter emerged as the undisputed star of the game, scoring his second, third and fourth goals of the playoffs to earn his very first playoff hat trick. Even more amazingly, Carter only took five shots, meaning he scored 60 percent of the time he got the puck on net.

The Kings converted on the man advantage twice on Tuesday with both goals coming from Carter’s stick. Two power-play goals is nothing to overlook, but the Kings had a total of eight opportunities. For a team that has scored four or more goals in six of their 11 games of the postseason, converting on two of eight power plays leaves a lot to be desired.

On the other side of the ice, Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles defense held Phoenix off the scoreboards for 60 consecutive minutes. Quick saved 24 shots to earn his second shutout of the 2012 playoffs. The Kings’ penalty-killing unit also proved to be crucial on the defensive end of the ice. Not only did they kill all four power plays, they held the Coyotes to just three shots on those four opportunities.

Having lost the first two games of the series at home, the Coyotes will certainly be looking to close the gap when they take on the Kings in the Staples Center on Thursday. With the way Los Angeles is playing, the Coyotes will have their hands full. 

Read more Los Angeles Kings news on BleacherReport.com


About the Author