There are the little areas of the
Pearson won't turn 22 until August and Toffoli celebrated his 22nd birthday on April 24. High-scoring forward
Of course, Carter won't be turning 30 until January.
The partnership between Carter and the kids is a fascinating one. They are benefiting from his
"You see them laughing at each other," Carter said. "They have a blast out there."
Is Carter affecting the kids more or is it the other way around?
"I don't know. It depends on who you ask," Pearson said, smiling. "He's been great to us. We've been playing well and we're creating offensive chances, which is what you have to do. He had a pretty good third period with three goals."
It appears Pearson shares Carter's knack for serious understatement. The Kings stunned the
But his third period will be one that the Elias Sports Bureau will be examining for years to come. Incredibly, the four points came on a mere seven shifts and a not-so-whopping 4 minutes 31 seconds of ice time in the third period.
Talk about pure efficiency.
Carter matched an
Given a couple more minutes on the ice, Carter might have tied the Kings record for points in a playoff game. That one, five points, is shared by
Two years ago, Carter had a playoff hat trick in Game 2 of the
With two off days before Game 3 in Los Angeles on Saturday, the series narrative shifted away from Kings center
"I think Jeff Carter gets overlooked," Kings Coach
"Jeff is just as important to our team as both those players that are getting talked about. Those kids get an opportunity to play with a top player in the Western Conference. That pretty much speaks for it."
The line of Pearson-Carter-Toffoli combined for four goals, seven points and a plus-five rating. Carter's first goal came on the power play and the third one was an empty-netter. Pearson assisted on Carter's second goal, which made it 5-2.
"His minutes aren't specifically with those boys," Sutter said of Carter. "He played the power play with Kopi and Gabby [
In other words, Carter's versatility gives Sutter more options, another tool to make those necessary in-game adjustments. The sort of moves Sutter needed to make when the Kings were teetering on the brink of elimination against the
Carter has seven goals and 16 points in the playoffs and has been held off the score sheet just once since Game 4 of the Ducks series. He had a point in all but one of the seven games in the opening round against the Sharks.
"I think he really showed to everyone in the world what he could do in the Olympics this year," Toffoli said. "It's incredible to play with him. He's a real easy guy to play with. I've said it a lot of times. He's really honest. He'll let you know if you're doing things right or wrong. I think that's what is making our line successful so far.