Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/7/12
The last time the Kings reached the conference finals, their current captain hadn't yet celebrated his ninth birthday. A couple of the current Kings were barely out of diapers in 1993. In fact, the last time the Kings reached the Western Conference Finals, they weren't even the Western Conference Finals. They were the Campbell Conference Finals. Whatever they're called, the Kings are in them again, after a 19-year wait. Dustin Brown scored two goals and Jordan Nolan added one as the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. The Kings swept the second-round series and now will await the winner of the second-round series between Nashville and Phoenix. "It's the first time in 20 years, 19 years, whatever it is, so we're proud of this group, to do that," Brown said. "We probably have a night to enjoy it. We don't want to be known as the only other Kings team to make it past the second round, though." At the start of this season, expectations for the Kings were high, as many pundits considered them to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference. For most of the season, though, the Kings were on the fringes of the playoff race, and needed a good run down the stretch simply to secure the No. 8 seed. Now, the Kings have eliminated Vancouver and St. Louis, the teams that finished the regular season with the two best records in the conference. "It's obviously a lot of excitement," center Anze Kopitar said. "It's definitely a new thing for me. I don't think I've been excited like this for a long time. The last thing I can compare to this was probably my draft day, but this definitely tops it off because it's more and we're still going. Now we've got to enjoy this one, tonight ... and go have a nice day off tomorrow and recharge our batteries and get it going ahead." NOTES, QUOTES Rare success for No. 8 seed --The Kings, who joined the NHL before the 1967-68 season, have reached the third round of the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. In 1993, the Kings got to the third round and beat Toronto in the Campbell Conference Finals, then lost to Montreal in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings also swept a best-of-seven series for the first time ever. Also, the Kings have become the first No. 8 seed, in either conference, to beat the No. 1- and No. 2-seeded teams. The Kings are the third-ever No. 8 seed to reach the third round. They follow Edmonton in 2006 and Montreal in 2010. --The Kings pulled off something fairly remarkable in the series against St. Louis. The Kings scored only one power-play goal in four games, but they won the special-teams battle by three goals. The Kings went 0-for-3 on the power play in Game 4, and went only 1-for-21 with the man advantage in the four-game series, but they also went 17-for-17 on the penalty kill -- including 3-for-3 in Game 4 -- and they got shorthanded goals from Matt Greene and Anze Kopitar. In nine playoff games in this postseason, the Kings have scored four power-play goals, have allowed three power-play goals and have scored four shorthanded goals. QUOTE TO NOTE: "That was a lot of fun. I'm so excited right now. That was a great series by us. I thought every single guy on the team played their hearts out, and it showed on the ice, and that's why we got those four in a row." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. ROSTER REPORT PLAYER NOTES: --LW Dustin Brown scored two huge goals for the Kings in Game 4. His goal with 1:43 remaining in the first period gave the Kings a 2-1 lead, and his empty-net goal with 26 seconds remaining in the third period clinched the game. Brown, the Kings' team captain, has six goals and five assists in nine playoff games in this postseason. Two of Brown's goals have been game-winning goals. --RW Jordan Nolan recorded his first career NHL playoff point when he scored 4:36 into the first period to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. Nolan, son of former NHL player and coach Ted Nolan, was called up from the American Hockey League in mid-February and quickly settled into a fourth-line role. Nolan is a big-bodied winger who can move well, and he's physical as well, as he showed in a first-period fight with Blues right wing Chris Stewart. Nolan was playing in his ninth career NHL playoff game. --G Jonathan Quick got beat once in Game 4, on a long-range shot by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, but otherwise Quick wrapped up a stellar series. Quick, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy based on his regular-season success, stopped 23-of-24 shots in the Game 4 victory. In the sweep of the Blues, Quick played every minute and allowed a total of six goals in four games. --D Matt Greene had appeared in 35 career NHL playoff games and had a total of zero goals and two assists as of eight days ago. In the four-game series against St. Louis, Greene had one goal and three assists and recorded at least one point in every game. Known as a big, stay-at-home defenseman and a strong penalty killer, Greene recorded a career-high 15 points in 82 games this season. Asked before Game 4 about his run of points, Greene deadpanned, "Yeah, that's an accident."
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