The Los Angeles Kings waited a long time to hoist the Stanley Cup after a 45 years in the League, the longest wait in NHL history. They were in a hurry on Monday, scoring three first period goals to punish the Devils 6-1.
The 45-years wait for their first title is one of the longest in history before a first title including the Detroit Lions (57 years), the Sacramento Kings (59 years), and the New England Revolution (16 years–since creation of MLS).
The Kings wasted no time making the Devils pay for their sins with captain Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis all scoring in a span of less than four minutes to leave New Jersey in a 3-0 hole.
“This is something everyones dreamed of for their whole lives and this city dreamed of for 45 years,” said Brown. “I cant really explain it. We had an opportunity to do something special on home ice and we did, and were champions.”
With the Stanley Cup and its white-gloved entourage in the Staples Center, champagne on ice and long-suffering fans eager to celebrate, the sellout crowd was chanting “We want the Cup. We want the Cup” with 40 minutes still to play in regulation.
Two periods later they would own the treasured trophy as the eighth-seeded Kings completed one of the most remarkable playoff runs the league has ever seen.
“Its just everything you pretty much dream and dreams just came true,” said Slovenian-born Kings sniper Anze Kopitar. “To do it in front of the home crowd, to have my family here, my girlfriend … to do it in front of them and share it with them is unbelievable.”
As the final seconds ticked off the clock and the capacity crowd on its feet, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick - voted the most valuable player of the playoffs - tossed his gloves to the air before being mobbed by team mates while confetti and streamers rained down from the rafters.
Then came the moment Los Angeles hockey fans had waited nearly a half-century for, to witness the Stanley Cup being brought to the ice and handed over to the Kings by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Up 3-0 in Mondays game, the Kings kept their foot on the Devils throats as Carter scored his second of the game 90 seconds into an ill-tempered second period that saw New Jerseys frustrations result in a string of penalties.
Rookie forward Adam Henrique gave the Devils some hope at forcing a decisive seventh game when he scored with 75 seconds to play in the period to spoil Quicks shutout bid.
The goal, however, did not spoil the party as the Kings added two more in the third period from Lewis and Matt Greene to clinch the series 4-2, touching off the biggest hockey party Hollywood has even seen.
“The guys did an unbelievable job,” said Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who took over behind the bench midway through the season after the teams slow start. “These guys have been so good with leadership and with the young guys listening and staying right in the moment thats all we talked about.”