Kings

Western Conference final team capsules: Los Angeles Kings

A rundown of the reigning Stanley Cup champs, who are trying to become the first team to repeat since 1998. Their 27-16-5 record made them the No. 5 seed in the playoffs.

27th appearance
1 Stanley Cup title (2012)

Studs

  • Jonathan Quick: 8-5, 1.50 GAA (leads NHL), .948 save% (leads NHL), 3 shutouts (leads NHL)
  • Dustin Brown: 57 hits (4th in NHL)
  • Jeff Carter: 5 goals (leads team)
  • Justin Williams: 2 goals in Game 7 win vs. SJS
  • Slava Voynov: 3 GWG (T-NHL lead), +7 (leads team)
  • Rob Scuderi: 31 blocked shots (3rd in NHL)
  • Team: 7-0 record at Staples Center (14 straight home wins, including regular season)
  • Team: 536 hits (most in NHL)

Duds:

  • Drew Doughty: 19 giveaways (most in NHL)
  • Robyn Regehr: 1 assist, -3 (worst on team)
  • Team: 1-5 record away from Staples Center
  • Team: 2.00 goals per game (11th in NHL)
  • Team: 8 goals in 6 away games

Stanley Cup winners with 2012 Kings (20 players, 3 coaches):

  • Jonathan Bernier, Dustin Brown (captain), Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Colin Fraser, Matt Greene, Dwight King, Anze Kopitar, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Jordan Nolan, Dustin Penner, Jonathan Quick (Conn Smythe winner), Mike Richards, Brad Richardson, Rob Scuderi, Jarret Stoll, Slava Voynov, Justin Williams, Darryl Sutter (head coach), John Stevens (asst), Bill Ranford (asst)

Cup winners with other franchises (4):

  • Colin Fraser (2010 Blackhawks), Dustin Penner (2007 Ducks), Rob Scuderi (2009 Penguins), Justin Williams (2006 Hurricanes)

Seeking first Cup, have played or coached one+ playoff game this postseason (5 players, 1 coach):

  • Keaton Ellerby, Jake Muzzin, Tanner Pearson, Robyn Regehr, Tyler Toffoli, Davis Payne (asst)

Seeking 2013 postseason debut:

  • Andy Andreoff, Jean-Francois Berube, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Andrew Campbell, Robert Czarnik, Nicolas Deslauriers, Martin Jones, Brandon Kozun, Brian O’Neill, Nick Shore, Anthony Stewart, Linden Vey, Jordan Weal (none played in the regular season)

Most career playoff …

  • Games: Mike Richards, 83
  • Goals: Jeff Carter, 21
  • Points: Mike Richards, 65

Last playoff …

  • Hat trick: Jeff Carter, May 15, 2012 (at Coyotes, Game 2, WCF)
  • 4-point game: Drew Doughty, April 16, 2011 (at Sharks, Game 2, WCQF)
  • Short-handed goal: Anze Kopitar, May 22, 2012 (at Coyotes, Game 5, WCF)
  • Fight: Jordan Nolan, May 6, 2012 (Chris Stewart, vs. Blues, Game 4, WCSF)
  • Shutout: Jonathan Quick, May 23, 2013 (vs. Sharks, Game 5, WCSF)

Playoff trend:

The Kings are trying to become the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the 1997 & 1998 Detroit Red Wings … six different franchises have repeated in the Post-Expansion Era

  • Montreal Canadiens (1968 & 1969; 1976-79)
  • Philadelphia Flyers (1974 & 1975)
  • New York Islanders (1980-83)
  • Edmonton Oilers (1984 & 1985; 1987 & 1988)
  • Pittsburgh Penguins (1991 & 1992)
  • Detroit Red Wings (1997 & 1998)
  • In 2012, the Kings became the first 8-seed to win the title … they also matched the NHL record, with 10 road wins, during their run (1995 & 2000 Devils, 2004 Flames) … in the first two rounds of 2013, they were only 1-5 on the road

The Kings became only the 2nd reigning champion since 2003 to reach the conference finals the following season (2008 Red Wings)

Milestones:

  • In the WCSF, Jonathan Quick became the Kings’ all-time postseason leader in goaltending wins (28)
  • With one game-winning goal, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Dustin Penner & Slava Voynov (3 apiece) will tie Butch Goring for 3rd on the all-time GWG list in Kings postseason history
  • Former Blackhawks player Darryl Sutter moved into 12th in all-time coaching wins (71) … needs one win to tie Ken Hitchcock (72) for 11th
  • Justin Williams became the first player in NHL history to score a goal in his first four Game 7s
  • The Kings have allowed 3 or fewer goals in 33 consecutive playoff games, an NHL record

2012-13 season

  • Longest win streak: 5 (February 19 – 27)
  • Longest winless streak: 3 (January 19 – 24)

Biggest storylines of season & postseason:

  • The Kings were 10-1 on the road during their run to the Stanley Cup last season … they were 8-12-4 this season, including 3-7-3 vs. teams that made the playoffs … in the first two rounds of 2013, they were only 1-5 on the road
  • Drew Doughty did not score a goal until his 29th game this season … he scored five of his six in April

Award finalists:

  • Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award (most influential team captain): Dustin Brown

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

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Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.

Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

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The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

What if that offside goal counted?

Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

***

Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

Sidney Crosby scores a superstar goal

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With the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season on the line in Game 6, plenty of eyes are on big guns Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.

Those marquee names are really coming through so far as they’ve now built a 3-0 lead through two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You likely already saw Kessel’s display of high-end hand-eye coordination (if not, check it here). Kris Letang scored his first goal of the series to make it 2-0 on a very tricky, well-placed shot.

The highlight really might be Crosby’s tally, though. He left multiple Lightning players baffled and beat a very-much-game Andrei Vasilevskiy to beef that lead up 3-0.