Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL.
(Home Team in Caps)
Los Angeles 6, CHICAGO 2 – series tied 1-1
KINGS SCORE SIX UNANSWERED GOALS TO EVEN SERIES
Down 2-0 late in the second period, the Kings scored six unanswered goals – including five in the third period, highlighted by a hat trick from Jeff Carter – to even the Western Conference Final at 1-1.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Kings’ victory marked only the second time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history that a team won by four or more goals in a game in which it trailed entering the third period. The other such instance: Game 5 of the 1991 Adams Division Semifinals – the Bruins trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes, but rallied for a 6-1 win over the Whalers.
* The Kings matched a franchise record for goals in one postseason period (5), accomplished three previous times: April 10, 1982 vs. EDM (3rd period); April 10, 1990 vs. CGY (2nd period); and May 7, 1993 vs. VAN (3rd period).
* Carter recorded his second career playoff hat trick (both with the Kings); his other came in Game 2 of the 2012 Western Conference Final at PHX. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Carter became just the fifth player since 1975 to register more than one hat trick in the Conference Finals, following Jari Kurri (3), Mike Bossy (2), Wayne Gretzky (2) and Mark Messier (2).
* Carter also became the second player in Kings history to score three goals in one period of a playoff game. The other: Tommy Williams, who posted a natural hat trick in the third period of Game 4 of the 1974 Quarterfinals vs. CHI.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Carter became the first player to record three goals in one period of a playoff game for any team since May 6, 2010, when Johan Franzen did so for the Red Wings in the first period of Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals vs. SJ. He also became the first player to register a hat trick in the third period of a postseason game for any team since May 18, 2002, when Darren McCarty did so for the Red Wings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final vs. COL.
* Carter (3-1—4) also posted an assist in the final frame, matching a Stanley Cup Playoffs record and establishing a Kings postseason record with four points in one period. He became the first player to collect four points in one period of a playoff gamesince May 17, 2011, when Tyler Seguin (2-2—4) did so for the Bruins in the second period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final vs. TB. Carter also became the first player to record four points in the third period of a postseason game since April 27, 2008, when Brad Richards (1-3—4) did so for the Stars in Game 2 of Western Conference Semifinals at SJ.
* Carter now has 4-3—7 during a three-game point streak and is tied for second in the NHL with 7-9—16 in the postseason (with teammate Marian Gaborik: 9-7—16). Carter also is tied for the League lead with 5-7—12 on the road (with teammate Anze Kopitar: 3-9—12).
* The line of Carter (3-1—4; +2), Tanner Pearson (0-2—2; +2) and Tyler Toffoli (1-0—1; +1) combined for four goals, seven points and a +5 rating.
* Jake Muzzin recorded his first career playoff game-winning goal (33 GP). He has one game-winning goal in 132 career regular-season contests.
* The Kings picked up their first all-time postseason victory in Chicago (1-7) and became the first team to defeat the Blackhawks at United Center in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (7-1).
* The Kings also snapped a six-game losing streak to the Blackhawks dating to Game 4 of the 2013 Western Conference Final (regular season and playoffs).
* The Kings improved to 6-4 as visitors this postseason, matching the Rangers for the most road victories. They also lead the League with 35 road goals (eight more than the Rangers).
* The Kings went 2-for-4 on the power play, including consecutive man-advantage goals to take the lead at the start of the third period. Prior to Game 2, the Blackhawks had yielded only one power-play goal in 21 times shorthanded on home ice this postseason (20-for-21, 95.2%).
* ICYMI: Toffoli helped keep the game scoreless in the first period with an unbelievable goal-line save.
DID YOU KNOW?
* The Kings re
corded the 12th multi-goal comeback victory of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were only eight such wins during the entire 2013 postseason.
* The Kings overcame a two-goal deficit for the first time in the playoffs since Game 4 of the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals vs. STL. In that contest, the Kings trailed 2-0 at 4:32 of the first period, but rallied for a 4-3 victory.
NHL WINS THREE SPORTS BUSINESS AWARDS
The NHL took home three of the most prestigious honors at the 2014 Sports Business Awards, winning “Sports League of the Year,” “Sports Executive of the Year”(Gary Bettman) and “Sports Event of the Year” (2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic).
The annual event, hosted by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, honors excellence in sports business for the period from March 1, 2013 – Feb. 28, 2014. The awards were presented before a record crowd of more than 800 at a special ceremony held at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan (photo credit: Marc Bryan-Brown Photography).
* The “Sports League of the Year” recognition was the NHL’s second in four years. The League previously was honored with a Sports Business Award in this category in 2011. Other nominees for “Sports League of the Year” were the Atlantic Coast Conference, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR and PGA Tour.
* This marks commissioner Bettman’s first win for “Sports Executive of the Year.” Other nominees in the category were FOX Sports president and COO Randy Freer, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank, and Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.
* The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at the University of Michigan’s “Big House,” which shattered the previous hockey attendance record with a crowd of 105,491, captured its second Sports Business Award for “Sports Event of the Year,” previously winning in 2009 for the inaugural 2008 NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo. Other nominees in the category were Super Bowl XLVIII, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open and The ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo presented by Showtime Networks.
The Kings picked up their fourth victory in their last 17 visits to Chicago (regular season and playoffs) . . . Twelve of the Kings’ 18 skaters recorded at least one point . . . The Blackhawks fell to 8-1 when scoring first this postseason . . . Blackhawks defensemanNick Leddy scored his second career playoff goal and first since April 21, 2012 (at PHX) . . . Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith collected an assist to extend his point streak to three games (1-2—3). He led all blueliners with 55 helpers during the regular season, matching a career high . . . The Canucks named Jim Benning their 11th general manager in franchise history. Benning joins the team after serving as the assistant general manager of the Bruins for the past seven years . . . ICYMI: NHL legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Wayne Gretzky, Denis Savard and Tony Esposito were in attendance for Game 2 of the Western Conference Final (photo credit: @NHLBlackhawks).
SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Montreal @ NY Rangers, Game 3, NYR lead 2-0, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
For the third consecutive year, every Stanley Cup Playoffs game is being televised nationally in the United States, on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder: http://nhl.com/channelfinder.
Source: NHL Media