There are 100 season ticket holders who’ve been with the Kings for all 44 seasons: from the beginning with Bill “Cowboy” Flett and Eddie “The Jet” Joyal, to Butch Goring and Rogie Vachon, to the Triple Crown Line… and, of course, the Great Gretsky.
Now that Loyal 100 finally have what they've waited for: a Stanley Cup for the Los Angeles Kings.
It took six games for the Kings to clinch the Cup — but they did, by a final score of 6 to 1. The team ended their Stanley Cup run with a 16-3 record. And they did it as an 8th seed in the playoffs.
No 8th seed had ever won the Stanley Cup until tonight. The lowest seed to win the Cup before the Kings was in 1995... and it was the fifth-seeded New Jersey Devils.
Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis scored two goals apiece, playoff MVP Jonathan Quick made 17 saves in his latest stellar performance, and the Kings beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 Monday night in Game 6 of the finals, becoming the first eighth-seeded playoff team to win the league title.
Captain Dustin Brown had a goal and two assists for Los Angeles, which ended its dominant two-month playoff run before a frenzied bunch of their heartiest fans, incessantly waving towels and glowsticks. The crowd including several dozen Kings faithful who have been at rinkside since the team's birth as an expansion franchise in 1967, waiting for one glimpse of the Stanley Cup.
After taking a 3-0 series lead and then losing two potential clinching games last week, the Kings finished ferociously at Staples Center just when the sixth-seeded Devils appeared to have a chance for one of the biggest comebacks in finals history.
One penalty abruptly changed the tone of a series. Brown, Carter and Lewis scored 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. Quick took it from there, finishing his star-making postseason by allowing just seven goals in six finals games.
"You never know. You get to the dance, you never know what's going to happen," Brown said. "We calmed down after losing two. It was the first time we had done that all playoffs, and we finally got off to a good start."
Martin Brodeur stopped 19 shots for the Eastern Conference champion Devils, just the third team to force a Game 6 in the finals after falling into an 0-3 hole. Rookie Adam Henrique ended Quick's shutout bid late in the second period after the Kings had built a 4-0 lead, but Lewis and Matt Greene added late goals for the Kings.
Police have expressed hopes that L.A. fans will celebrate the win peacefully, and are looking to avoid the vandalism and violence that has followed some Lakers' titles.
KPCC's Erika Aguilar reports that groups of Kings fans were excited but peaceful, chanting "We have the Cup!" outside the center and climbing atop some of Staples' outdoor statues.
Cmdr. Andrew Smith says there are scores of officers on bikes and motorcycles outside Staples, and many undercover officers amid the crowd to put a quick stop to troublemakers.
Police went on a citywide tactical alert shortly before the game ended.
Some photos and tweets from folks at the game