The Los Angeles Kings have won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. A 6-1 victory over New Jersey Monday at the Staples Center clinched the finals in six games.
Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, the second year in a row an American goalie has been named playoff MVP (Tim Thomas, 2011).
Monday’s game will be remembered for the major penalty that Devils forward Steve Bernier was assessed at 10:10 of the first period after hitting L.A. defenseman Rob Scuderi from behind into the end boards. Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis scored for the Kings on the resultant power play, and the game was all but over.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
For Los Angeles, it’s been a dream playoff run after qualifying as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. The Kings lost just four times in 20 postseason games and became the first team since the 2007 Anaheim Ducks to clinch the Cup on home ice.
Since entering the NHL in 1967, the Kings have suffered through numerous trying seasons. Up until this year, they’d managed to make the Cup finals just once, losing to Montreal in 1993.
The 2011-12 season wasn’t without its trying moments either. Head coach Terry Murray was fired in December after the team got off to a slow start and struggled badly offensively. John Stevens took over on an interim basis before Darryl Sutter was hired by embattled Kings general manager Dean Lombardi.
Lombardi also swung a major deal prior to the trade deadline, acquiring Carter from Columbus for Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick.
The Devils did well to get back into the series after falling behind 3-0. However, with no margin for error, Bernier’s penalty proved to be the back-breaker.