Stanley Cup Final: Game 6
The Los Angeles Kings are finally champions of the NHL after 45 years of trying, taking the Stanley Cup to Tinseltown with an authoritative 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Netminder Jonathan Quick finished his postseason MVP performance with 17 saves, and the Kings became the first eighth-seeded playoff team to win the Stanley Cup finals.
Dustin Brown practically snatched the Stanley Cup away from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, skating directly to center ice and thrusting it skyward. Forgive his haste. The Kings' captain had only been waiting his whole life for this moment. Brown accomplished what even Wayne Gretzky couldn't do in eight years in Los Angeles by lifting the Cup.
Brown had a goal and two assists for Los Angeles, which ended its spectacular 16-4 postseason run in front of a crowd including several dozen Kings faithful who have been at rinkside since the team's birth in the Second Six expansion in 1967.
One penalty abruptly changed the tone of the series. The Kings scored three goals during a five-minute power play in the first period after Steve Bernier was ejected for boarding Rob Scuderi, leaving the veteran defenseman in a pool of blood.
Jeff Carter scored two goals, including what would become the game-winner, giving him four goals in the finals and eight in the playoffs. Carter was acquired from Columbus by the Kings just days before the trade deadline in exchange for former top pick Jack Johnson and a first-round pick in either 2012 or 2013.
Trevor Lewis also lit the lamp twice, including the third goal toward the end of the Kings' five-minute power play and a late empty-netter.
Mike Richards assisted on L.A.'s first two goals and finished with 15 points in the playoffs as the Kings flew past the Devils early in the game.
Zach Parise was stymied once again by Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty and the Kings' defense. Both Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils' leading scorer, mustered just one goal apiece in the series.
The Devils' frustration boiled over when Ryan Carter took a misconduct penalty for running over Scuderi and Quick in the second period.
Dustin Brown, just the second American-born captain to raise the Cup after Dallas' Derian Hatcher, capped his own impressive playoff work by finishing with 20 points, tied for the postseason scoring lead with linemate Anze Kopitar.
Jonathan Quick is the third American-born Conn Smythe winner, adding one more dominant game to a run in which he set NHL records for save percentage (.946) and goals-against average (1.41) among goalies who played at least 15 postseason games.
The Kings' long-suffering fans had been waiting nearly 45 years for somebody to lift that 36-pound silver trophy and remove the burden on a franchise that had never won an NHL title.