Game 5: Kings 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
The Kings knocked off No. 1 Vancouver, the Presidents’ Trophy winner, No. 2 St. Louis and rounded it out with a five-game win over the No. 3 Coyotes in the conference finals to become the second No. 8 seed — along with Edmonton in 2006 — to reach the Stanley Cup finals.
• LA Times’ Helene Elliott: Kings never lost magic touch on road to Cup finals
What they couldn’t accomplish two decades ago is now within their grasp thanks to a team that might lack superstars but never lacked heart or hope while entering the playoffs as the No. 8-seeded team. The Kings took out the West’s top three seeded teams in 1-2-3 order, held on course by the shrewd coaching of blunt, plain-spoken Darryl Sutter.
The Kings will open the Stanley Cup finals on the road, either at the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils. But Brown said the Kings’ success on the road “doesn’t matter at this point. Now it’s about getting up for every game.”
• LA Times: Kings take high road to Stanley Cup finals
Yes, the Kings’ long strange journey to the Stanley Cup finals — returning there again for the first time in 19 years — ended with one long thrilling night of hockey and in somewhat surreal fashion.
Weren’t they supposed to be showered with champagne, not debris?
• Orange County Register: Kings win West, advance to Stanley Cup Final
The Kings dominated play in the extra session, and Penner’s goal came on the Kings’ 51st shot of the game, with the puck going over the glove of Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, who made 47 saves.
Los Angeles became only the second team to knock off the top three seeds in the conference since the League switched to this playoff format. The other was Calgary in 2004. Kings coach Darryl Sutter was behind the bench for that Flames team as well.
HOT: The post-game handshake wasn’t as gentlemanly as most. The Coyotes were still heated over Brown’s hit on Rozsival and a few let Brown know they didn’t appreciate the play. The most animated Phoenix player was center Martin Hanzal, who must have forgot he was suspended for Game 3’s loss after a dangerous boarding penalty on Brown in Game 2.
• ESPNLA.com: Kings’ arrival is Lombardi’s work
Nobody dared touch the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl as it was awarded to the Los Angeles Kings following their 4-3 overtime victory Tuesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena, securing the organization’s second trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
Still, the award was undoubtedly covered with Dean Lombardi’s fingerprints.
• Fox Sports West: Post-Gretzky, Kings truly back in spotlight
In a city that has seen titles won by Jerry West and Magic Johnson, by Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser, by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, by David Beckham and Reggie Bush and both Lew Alcindor and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, now Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and most certainly Jonathan Quick will get their chance to have their names remembered in a similar capacity.