Originally written on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/16/12

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 21: Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Florida Panthers on December 21, 2009 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Panthers defeated the Flyers 4-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Until Tuesday night, Jeff Carter's most important contributions as a Los Angeles King involved his presence creating difficult match-ups for the opposition, thus opening up space for teammates on other lines. While he wasn't playing poorly, he wasn't exactly giving off the impression of the player who scored 115 goals over his three previous regular seasons. That all came to an abrupt halt in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, as Carter recorded a natural hat trick and displayed outstanding efforts in all three zones of the ice while leading the team to a 4-0 shutout of the Phoenix Coyotes. In recording the club's first postseason hat trick since Wayne Gretzky's unforgettable performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the 1993 Campbell Conference Finals, his efforts lifted the Kings to their third consecutive 2-0 series lead in advance of heading back to Staples Center for Game 3. "I was happy with my game tonight," Carter said. "We played all situations and I ...
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