Carter's Hat-Trick Lifts Kings

Kings Ride Carter's Hot Streak

3/5/13 in NHL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

February 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) celebrates with center Mike Richards (10) and defenseman Drew Doughty (8) after scoring a goal against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsIt took all of two seconds for the Kings hats to start flying onto the ice when Jeff Carter put in his third of the game; a natural hat-trick to bury the visiting Predators for the night.
 
After a defensive first period that only saw 8 shots on goal, Carter put the Kings on the board first, thanks to a lucky bounce that was most likely meant to be a pass.  After some crafty stick-work to hold the puck, Carter drove towards the net with line-mate Mike Richards.  Flicking a pass towards the crease, the puck was deflected by the pads of Predators Goaltender Pekka Rinne, 1-0.
 
4 minutes and 39 seconds into the 3rd, Carter struck again, this time sending the puck into the net more directly.  Less than 20 seconds later, Carter kept the party going.  Stealing the puck right from Predators defenseman Roman Josi after the center-ice face-off, Carter cruised towards Rinne with the Predators back-line a step behind. 
 
The third of the night pretty much locked things up for the home team, but they tacked on two more before the Predators finally made it onto the scoreboard: 5-1 Final.
 
The 3-goal showing gives Carter 8 goals in his last 7 games now, an impressive streak over the past two weeks where the Kings have found themselves winning 6 of 7 games.  Overall, the Kings are 10-0-1 this season when Carter finds the back of the net.
 
Beginning the day 9th in the league in scoring, Carter’s 3-goal effort lifts him up to 2nd where he’s now tied with Pittsburgh’s James Neal with 14 goals on the season, trailing Steven Stamkos’s league-leading 17.
 
Overall the Kings defense was on top of their game all night and the Predators got very few opportunities.  And even when they did, Jonathan Bernier had another solid outing in net, stopping 18 of the 19 shots he faced.  Winning all 5 of his starts so far this season, Bernier continues to provide a solid alternative to Jonathan Quick.
 
Next up for the Kings is the Blues, who bring an 11-8-2 record into Los Angeles Tuesday.  Both teams are floating amidst the middle of the pack in the West right now with 24 points apiece, a point-total that also happens to be shared by 4 other teams.
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3/14/13   |   ZenoCosini   |   5 respect

Too bad they're in the same division as Anaheim. The Kings are 7-3 in their last 10 and lost ground on the Ducks.