Kings are rulers of the NHL after 45 years of trying
The Los Angeles Kings are finally champions of the NHL after 45 years of trying, taking the Stanley Cup with a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, which clinched 4-2 series victory.
Long-suffering LA fans, who had never even seen ice hockey’s greatest prize, went crazy as captain Dustin Brown lifted the giant 36lb silver trophy.
Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis each scored two goals and goalminder Jonathan Quick made 17 saves as the Kings became the first eighth-seeded play-off team to win the title.
“Every single guy worked so hard for us this season,” said defenceman Drew Doughty, who had turned down a new contract before the season but finished it with six points in the finals, including two assists in the clinching game.
“Everyone deserves this. We developed a chemistry, and we just went sailing from there.”
After taking a 3-0 series lead and then losing two potential clinching games last week, the Kings finished ferociously at Staples Center just when the sixth-seeded Devils appeared to have a chance of one of the biggest comebacks in finals history.
One penalty changed the tone of the series as Brown, Carter and Lewis scored during a five-minute power play in the first period after Steve Bernier was ejected for boarding Rob Scuderi, leaving the veteran defenceman in a pool of blood.
Quick, who let in just seven goals in six finals games, made sure there was no Devils comeback. Brown added: “You never know. You get to the dance, you never know what’s going to happen. We calmed down after losing two. It was the first time we had done that all play-offs, and we finally got off to a good start.”
Martin Brodeur stopped 19 shots for the Devils, just the third team to force a Game Six in the finals after falling three games to nil down. Adam Henrique ended Quick’s shutout bid late in the second period after the Kings had built a 4-0 lead but Lewis and Matt Greene added late goals for the Kings.
“We never lost our confidence,” Quick said. “We had to take it on the chin to keep moving, losing two, and we looked at it as, ‘Hey, we still have to win one game to win a championship.
“And we have two chances.’ Finally, we were able to do it at home.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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