As part of today’s media obligations, Jeff Carter walked into the Lakers’ practice facility, tilted his head up and took a long look around. “I’ve never been in here before,’’ Carter said. “A lot of banners.’’ NBA championship banners, that is, and if the Kings are to add a nice wall decoration to their side of the building, they will need to win two more games and they will need to play better. The Kings pulled out a big win in Game 2, but the New Jersey Devils played a strong game, and even though they trail 2-0 in the series, the Devils will try to focus on the fact that they were exceedingly close to winning both games. The Kings’ challenge is to keep the foot on the gas pedal and play their best game of the series in Game 3.
That’s why, even when lobbed a question today about the reaction of family and friends to his Game 2 overtime goal, Jeff Carter quickly turned things around and put the focus on tomorrow, not yesterday…
CARTER: “It’s exciting. It’s obviously a big moment in my career. It was a huge goal for the team. I got a lot of texts and a lot of phone calls and whatnot, but we’re back at it tomorrow night, so we have to move on from that and get ready.’’
Along those lines, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Matt Greene and Darryl Sutter all talked today about the need for a stronger showing in Game 3…
KOPITAR: “Obviously we’re in a pretty good position right now, and we want to take care of business now and home. We’ve got to be prepared, because they’re going to be a desperate team, obviously. We’ve got to play with just as much desperation as they will.’’
RICHARDS: “We know the Devils are going to improve, and we have to improve. That was the goal and mindset right from day one in training camp, to get better every game. We have to do that and carry the energy that’s going to be in Staples Center. It’s probably one of the loudest rinks I’ve ever played in. I think everybody here is excited. Even though we got in late last night, you could feel the energy around the building, the dressing room. Tomorrow is going to be no different.’’
GREENE: I think the (Devils’) forecheck is great right now. It’s getting a lot of things done for them that they want to get done. We want more pressure in the offensive zone.’’
SUTTER: “I think managing how New Jersey plays (is important). I think that we know both teams were quite a bit better last night than they were the first (game), in terms of execution, in terms of how they want to play. So, you have to expect that as it goes along. The reason both teams are here is because system, discipline and detail. So, you expect more system, discipline and detail, and then you expect top players always to continue to ramp their game up, or to try to find their game.’’