Kings Win Stanley Cup
Los Angeles defeats New Jersey for first NHL title
It took 45 years, but the Stanley Cup is finally in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Kings were crowned National Hockey League (NHL) champions last night after defeating the New Jersey Devils 6-1. The Kings won the best-of-seven series four games to two.
The Kings jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period, getting goals from captain Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, and Trevor Lewis. All three goals came on a five-minute power play when Devils forward Steve Bernier was given a major penalty and a game misconduct (ejection) for his boarding hit on Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi.
Carter tallied his second goal of the night a minute and 30 seconds into the second period to make the score 4-0. Meanwhile, the Devils continued to play sloppy and undisciplined hockey. Two more game misconduct penalties were handed out in the second period, sending Devils David Clarkson and Ryan Carter to the locker room early. But New Jersey managed to get on the board with a goal late in the second period.
In the third period, the Kings put the game away by adding two more goals. As the last minute ticked off the clock, and with the score 6-1, the hometown L.A. fans got to their feet and cheered. When the final buzzer rang, the Kings players mobbed their goaltender, Jonathan Quick. Gloves, helmets, and sticks were thrown everywhere.
"It's one of those things you dream all your life for as a player," Kings captain Brown told the Los Angeles Times. "The city of Los Angeles has been dreaming of this for 45 years. There were about 20 million dreams coming true tonight."
Brown was only the second American-born captain to raise the Stanley Cup. Quick made history, too. Quick put up stellar numbers in the playoffs — a 16-4 record with a save percentage of .946 — which earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the playoffs. He was only the third American-born player to win the prize.
Besides winning their first championship, the Kings made history in another way, too. L.A. became the first team in all of professional sports to win a championship after having three coaches during one season. Over the course of the 2011-2012 NHL season, Terry Murray (13-12-4), John Stevens (2-2-0), and Darryl Sutter (25-13-11) all coached the Kings.
Having three coaches certainly made the Kings' championship run an unexpected one. L.A. barely made it into the Stanley Cup playoffs, capturing the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference with only one game left in the regular season.
But once in the playoffs, the Kings were almost unbeatable. In the first round, they defeated the number-one seed Vancouver Canucks four games to one. The Kings then swept number-two seed St. Louis Blues four games to none. Then they defeated third-seed Phoenix Coyotes four games to one to reach the Finals.
The Kings jumped out to a quick 3-0 series lead against the Devils, winning the first two games in overtime. The Kings had a chance to close the series in front of their home crowd in Game 4. But the Devils found their game and won Games 4 and 5. Heading into Game 6, the Devils had a ton of momentum on their side. But the Kings had the home-ice advantage and you can bet they wanted to end this in front of their home crowd.
"Every single guy worked so hard for us this season," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty told ESPN. "Everyone deserves this. We got used to each other, we developed a chemistry, and we just went sailing from there."
NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS
Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.