On Wednesday, the Kings center did something about it, transferring words to action in a riveting game between two familiar rivals. Carter played one of his best games of the season, scoring twice and adding an assist on the tying goal as the Kings defeated the
Three times the Kings fell behind by a goal.
Three times, they fought back.
They scored twice in the final 6:11. Forward Tyler Toffoli, who missed six games because of mononucleosis, scored and added an assist in his return.
Toffoli's goal, his 13th of the season, tied it, 3-3, at 13:49 of the third period, beating Chicago goalie
The winner came with 3:37 left, via defenseman
The lone assist went to Kings center Anze Kopitar, who won a faceoff to help set it up.
Toffoli talked about the mental toughness of a veteran team.
"We know, our group of guys, we've been saying all year to you guys and to ourselves…tonight was a night where we wanted to prove to ourselves that we can win big games," he said.
"And we did it tonight."
Toffoli said he felt rusty in his first game back. Imagine how it will go when the rust disappears.
Until late in the third, there were more sights of a season slipping away. It could have been another one-goal defeat until the Kings reached back in their memory bank from seasons past.
The presence of the Blackhawks helped, and then some.
"We obviously enjoy playing the Blackhawks every time we play them," Carter said. "It's an intense, exciting game. As a player in the room, if you can't get up to play them, there's something wrong with you.
"We enjoy it. It was a big battle for us and hopefully we can keep building on this and get some points."
This was the second multi-goal performance for Carter this season and the Kings are 10-0-0 this season when he has a multi-point showing.
Chicago, which lost to the Kings in the
The Kings took advantage of the chance to pick up some ground and are one point out of a playoff spot, trailing the
Chicago had taken a 3-2 lead early in the third period, at 2:25, when the Blackhawks capitalized on a turnover by
Games between the Kings and the Blackhawks are often highly entertaining affairs and Wednesday hit another level by the third period. The intensity was evident afterward too.
Said Crawford, the Blackhawks' goalie: "It's frustrating. I thought we played a good game. They got two quick ones at the end. I guess everyone can pretty much tell how we feel about that one so there's no point in explaining it.
"I'm not going to talk about that because I'm probably going to get fined or something, so move on to another question."