Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Global 2012: LA Kings crowned Stanley Cup champions for 1st time

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 02:  Drew Doughty #8 of the ...NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 02: Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with teammates Rob Scuderi #7, Dwight King #74 and Trevor Lewis #22 after scoring in the first period against the New Jersey Devils during Game Two of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on June 2, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)The Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup since the franchise was founded in 1967, eliminating the New Jersey Devils in Game 6, 6-1, on Monday night.

Goalie Jonathan Quick was given the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP.

Dustin Brown had a 3-point night, and Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis each had two goals in the Kings' victory, the crowning achievement for one of the most improbable postseason journeys in NHL history.

They're the first No. 8 seed to ever win the Stanley Cup. They tied an NHL record for road wins, going 10-1 away from home before winning the Cup on Staples Center ice. Overall, the Kings were 16-4 in the playoffs -- one of the best records in decades for a Stanley Cup champion.

In the regular season, they fired coach Terry Murray 29 games into the season in favor of Darryl Sutter, who won his first Cup. They made a gutsy, blockbuster trade for Jeff Carter of the Columbus Blue Jackets during near the deadline, and he scored twice in the Cup-clinching game.

The Devils, meanwhile, fell short in their attempt to become the first time since 1942 to rally from an 0-3 deficit to win the Stanley Cup.

It was a game that turned on a brutal boarding penalty — both in timing and result — by Devils forward Steve Bernier on Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi, bloodying the Los Angeles veteran with a hit from behind at the end boards at 10:10 of the first period.

The hit — arriving moments after a non-call on Kings forward Jarret Stoll for a hit from behind on the Devils' Steven Gionta near the benches — resulted in a 5-minute power play for the Kings.

The Kings entered the game with the third-worst power play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (10.6 percent).

They struck three times on that major penalty power play, burying the Devils early in the game.

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