Kings OTD: LA Secures First NHL Championship
While plans for an NHL restart, which includes a 24-team playoff bracket, have surfaced, the Kings sadly missed the cut with their 29-35 record. However, today marks 8 years since Los Angeles welcomed the greatness of the Kings after they secured their first Stanley Cup in 2012, against the New Jersey Devils.
It’s easy to forget that the Kings pulled off such a dominant playoff run after just qualifying for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. In the Conference Quarterfinals, the Kings first matched up against the No. 1 seed the Vancouver Canucks who missed drinking from the Stanley Cup by one game. The matchup was one that resembled that of David and Goliath, with the Canucks being a red hot powerhouse and the Kings being young and inexperienced. The stories ended in the same way with the Kings winning the series 4-1 and allowed Los Angeles to move to the second round since 2001.
8 years ago today… pic.twitter.com/yBovVxlPCQ
— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 11, 2020
In the Western Conference, the Kings then matched up against the No. 2 seed St. Louis Blues marking the third playoff series matchup between the two teams. The last two times they faced, St. Louis prevailed after sweeping the Kings both times. However, this time was different, the Kings were on top as they swept the Blues with 11 different players scoring at least one goal throughout the series.
Next up was a matchup against the No. 3 seed Phoenix Coyotes which was the first playoff series between the two teams. After going up in the series 3-0 which included a bewildering game 2 win, in which Jeff Carter scored a hat trick and goalie Jonathan Quick had 24 saves en route to a 4-0 victory. The kings dropped game 4, 2-0 but came back to win the series in game five with a 4-3 victory.
On May 15, 2012, Jeff Carter scored a natural hat trick and Jonathan Quick pitched a 24-save shutout as the Los Angeles Kings won by a score of 4-0 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes. pic.twitter.com/w5FbsiIxlk
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) May 15, 2019
After going toe to toe with the top three seeds in the Western Conference and not only holding their own but dominating the ice, their last obstacle was a Stanley Cup Finals matchup against the New Jersey Devils. Although the Devils had defeated the Kings in both regular-season matchups earlier that year, the Kings had become a different team throughout the playoffs. They were hungry and capable of taking on any challenge they faced. The Kings were looking for their first title in just their second Finals appearance since its first in 1993 when they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
The Kings took an early 3-0 series lead helping them set a single-season consecutive playoff road winning record at ten. The Devils, on the brink of losing everything they had played for, came back and won the next two games bringing the series to 3-2 with the Kings still up. The Kings had come a long way and were not about to let this opportunity slip through their fingers. Game 6 pretty much summed up how the Kings playoff run went as they completely controlled the ice securing a 6-1 victory and their place among Los Angeles sports royalty becoming the KINGS of the NHL that year.
Relive Game 6 below!