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Kings head home with 2-0 series lead

by Brian Compton

(Los Angeles leads best-of-seven series, 2-0)


Big Story: The Kings return home after winning their 10th straight road game this postseason and grabbing a 2-0 lead in this series with another 2-1 overtime victory in Game 2 at the Prudential Center on Saturday night. Jeff Carter notched the game-winner when he beat Martin Brodeur at 13:42 of the extra session.

Road clubs sweeping the first two games of the Final have won the Stanley Cup on nine of 11 occasions.

Team Scope:

Devils: There's little doubt it was a depressing flight from Newark to Los Angeles after the Devils fell short in back-to-back overtime games on home ice to open the Stanley Cup Final. But on Sunday, they sounded like a group that is ready to regroup and do everything in its power to win four of the next five games.

"It takes four games to win a series, not two, not three, not one," forward Ilya Kovalchuk said. "They were good enough to win the first two, but we'll see what is going to happen in the next couple of games."

And, despite the back-to-back losses, Devils coach Peter DeBoer didn't sound like he was ready to make changes to his lineup.

"We're not making a change based on the hole we're in," DeBoer said. "We'll make a change if we feel there's someone that can make us a better lineup for tomorrow night. That's what we're making the decision on. Like I said, I thought our group played a good game last night."

Kings: Wanting to get reacclimated to the Pacific time zone as quickly as possible, the Kings quickly dealt with the media after Saturday's win and headed to Newark International Airport. They arrived back in California at roughly 3:30 a.m. PT and got a couple of hours sleep before meeting the press at their practice facility.

Now, it's simply a matter of refocusing for what will be just their seventh home game this postseason.

"I still think it was better to get them home," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Sunday afternoon. "Most of the guys get a couple hours sleep on the plane. A lot of the guys didn't have to come in today. They get up mid-morning, good to go, I think."  

Who's Hot: Devils forward Ryan Carter had another solid game for New Jersey on Saturday and tallied his fifth goal of the postseason. A pending unrestricted free agent, Carter has three goals in his last four games. … Kings defenseman Drew Doughty scored a highlight-reel tally in Game 2 and is 2-2-4 in his last three contests.

Injury Report: Both teams are boasting healthy lineups.

Stat Pack: Saturday marked the 25th overtime game and the 49th one-goal contest of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Puck Drop: "I think that's probably why I struggled the first half of the year and put all that pressure on myself with a big contract. I just wasn't doing the things I knew I could. I wasn't happy coming to the rink every day. I was disappointed in my play. I was disappointed that I wasn't playing up to the standards I had got myself into. Finally, things started turning around. My play definitely got a lot better." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty  

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