VIDEO: Jeff Carter records hat trick in Kings' third-period explosion
Jeff Carter scored three of Los Angeles' five third-period goals on Wednesday to power their explosive close to Game 2 and even the series with Chicago.
Go back two years and a couple of months and you'll recall the Los Angeles Kings were in desperate need of some scoring. There just so happened to be a disgruntled scorer in Columbus who was a former teammate of one of the newest Kings, Mike Richards.
So the Kings traded one of their top defensemen in Jack Johnson to land Jeff Carter to give them that true scoring punch. It paid off in 2012 as the Kings won the Stanley Cup and it's paying off well again in 2014.
Carter had the period of all periods in LA's 6-2 win in Game 2 on Wednesday night in Chicago. Quite literally, no King has ever had a period in the postseason like Carter had in the third.
What did he do, you ask? Oh, he just scored three goals, three of Los Angeles' five in the final frame. He also assisted on a fourth goal. Both of those should sound impressive because they were. The Kings have been around since the 1960s so when you're talking about franchise marks, there's a good amount of historical significance to them.
That's what makes Carter's achievements on Wednesday that much more impressive.
Jeff Carter scored three goals in the third period…tying club postseason record (Tommy Williams did it April 14, 1974 vs. CHI)— LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) May 22, 2014
Jeff Carter had four points in the third period…club record in playoffs— LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) May 22, 2014
Also making it impressive: This came against a Chicago Blackhawks team that is known in part for its amazing defense and in a building (United Center) where no road team had won this postseason.
When you think of the Los Angeles Kings you don't think of offense very much. You look at Drew Doughty, you think of Anze Kopitar, you're reminded of Jonathan Quick. You can't help but think Darryl Sutter, defensive hockey. They'll grind you down into a pulp and will try to win low-scoring games.
But the final 22 minutes of Game 2 were a great reminder; the Kings have plenty of explosive talent too. Sure, the Blackhawks completely unravaled in the third period, helping the Kings out some but LA showed that they have the reqrusuit firepower to challenge a team like the Blackhawks, even if it was a bit late to the party.
When this team is playing up to their fullest potential, they are nearly unbeatable. Part of that potential is Carter doing the things he can do so well with that still great wrist shot of his. His presence along with the emergence of young guys Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson has helped give the Kings another line that can do damage, joining Kopitar, Richards, Marian Gaborik, Justin Williams and Dustin Brown.
Certainly the word explosive describes not only Carter's shot but the Kings offensive potential as a whole. It doesn't always show but it's there and on Wednesday night it flipped this series on its head in a heartbeat.
Washington and Pittsburgh figure to go neck and neck, as do Anaheim and Edmonton
Cassidy went 18-8-1 after replacing Claude Julien in 2016-17
With the playoff field cut in half, the stakes keep getting raised
Green has led Vancouver's AHL affiliate since 2013
Series schedules, results and updates from the second round of the Stanley Cup race
Here's how to stay on top of all of the NHL's second-round playoff series, which begin Wed...