The Los Angeles Kings gave up a three goal lead in the third period to the Washington Capitals, only to have Jeff Carter save the day in overtime on Wednesday night.
Carter scored the game winning goal with 2:10 remaining in overtime, giving the Kings a 4-3 victory at Staples Center.
“If we want to win the Cup, there’s a good chance we’ll have to go through them,” Carter said.
With both team having the opportunity to win, Carter scored off an amazing cross-ice pass from Lucic.
Los Angeles was dominate in the first two periods with Vincent Lecavalier, Jake Muzzin and Milan Lucic all scoring goals. Washington woke up in the third period as the momentum shifted in their direction when Nicklas Backstrom, Dmitry Orlo, and T.J. Oshie scored goals that kept them in the game.
The hottest team in hockey was cooled off by the Kings as goalie Jonathan Quick made 29 saves while goalie Braden Holtby made 26 saves in the loss. With the win and the Anaheim Ducks shutout loss to Colorado the Kings remain one point ahead in first place in the Pacific Division.
“Two big teams. They’re a team that’s played well all season long, that’s why they’re in first place in the league,” Lucic said. “A big part of their success is playing physical, and that’s a big part of our success too. We learned a pretty good lesson today in the third period that we can’t take anything for granted. Even though we’re up three-nothing and had such a great start, when we don’t play the right way we let teams back in it. Good for us to get that extra point there in overtime, but there’s a lesson to be learned by the way we played in the third period.”
The Kings gave separate video tributes to former teammates Justin Williams and Mike Richards on the scoreboard during the first period. Richards warmly acknowledged the cheers after his abrupt departure from the team.
“I wasn’t really emotional. It was nice and it was nice to be acknowledged,” Richards said. “I enjoyed my time here. I had a lot of success, a lot of great years and a lot of great memories so it was definitely nice.”
The Caps have lost two straight out of the last six game and look to rebound as they continue on the road.
“It’s a good experience for us because we bounced back against a good team,” said captain Alex Ovechkin. “We just can’t give teams too many chances.”
With tonight’s win, the Kings have reached the 40-win plateau in their 66th game, the fastest that mark has been reached in franchise history (previously 67 games, 2009-10).
Jeff Carter (1-1=2) registered his ninth multi-point game and has seven points (4-3=7) in the last seven games.
Milan Lucic (1-1=2) extended his point-streak to four games (2-4=6).
Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa were in attendance.
Caps goalie Braden Holtby has lost three of his last five starts for the first time in his spectacular 41-victory season.