Found May 23, 2012 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Kings
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
GLENDALE, Ariz. Staples Center will feel a whole lot roomier when the Kings return to Los Angeles.
The Lakers are gone and the Clippers are gone. The Kings will have the run of the building and the undivided attention of its fans as they chase a goal whose seeds were planted more than two decades ago.
Well probably have to get a bigger bandwagon, said forward Dustin Penner, who scored the game-winning goal at 17:42 of the first overtime in the Kings series-clinching, 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena.
The victory put the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993 when Wayne Gretzky sparked a hockey revolution in southern California by guiding L.A to the first final in franchise history after his blockbuster trade in 1988.
Most of the current Kings were school boys or toddlers then, but they learned one valuable lesson from that ground-breaking club.
We dont want to follow suit with the 93 team, said captain Dustin Brown, who followed a time-honored tradition by refusing to touch the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl when NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly awarded it Tuesday. Theres a lot of work to be done.
The Kings dont know the identity of their next opponent the New York Rangers or the New Jersey Devils. But given the mountains theyve already climbed in this postseason, it comes as no surprise that theyll be favored against either club.
Over the past six weeks, Los Angeles has knocked off the Western Conferences No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds (thats never been accomplished before), theyve posted an NHL record 8-0 road mark and theyve won 12 of 14 postseason games.
Not bad for a No. 8 seed whose playoff fate was in doubt entering the final two weeks of the season.
Its not as easy as it looks, defenseman Drew Doughty said, laughing. I know were winning games and, at times, dominating teams, but its so hard out there. The game of hockey is a funny thing.
And a perplexing one. Nobody within the organization thought it would take this long to return to the finals after the Kings last run.
We were hoping we had started a tradition, said Kings president of business operations, Luc Robitaille, who played for that 1993 team.
Instead, that season was the high point, with significant lows in the years that followed.
In 2006, general manager Dave Taylor, director of player personnel Bill O'Flaherty, coach John Torchetti and three assistants were fired while Kings CEO Tim Leiweke vacated his position. Dean Lombardi was hired as GM and the Kings began a rebuilding process through the draft, trades and a youth movement.
The last six years, we did so much work at breaking down our organization and rebuilding with all those young kids, Robitaille said. To see them flourish and play this way is very rewarding.
Some of the credit for this seasons success should go to coach Darryl Sutter, who took over an offensively challenged team in December and found way to fit all the pieces together.
Im proud of the players, Sutter said. Theyre the guys that sweat and bleed. Thats what its about.
As the Kings and Coyotes shook hands at center ice after Tuesdays game, debris rained down on the ice from a disgruntled Phoenix fan base that had witnessed a controversial hit from Brown on defenseman Michal Rozsival mere minutes before Penners goal.
There was jawing from the Coyotes and a post-game tirade from Phoenix captain Shane Doan about the perceived officiating hurdle his team faced in this series and the postseason.
Brown declined to enter the fray.
You give them the benefit of the doubt, he said. Their season just ended out there. Theyre upset and emotions can boil over.
While the cash-strapped Coyotes miraculous season ended one round short of their goal, the Kings took one more step toward every hockey players dream.
We always knew we had something special in here, Doughty said. Right when the playoffs started, you could feel the strength the team had. That first series against Vancouver, we played really good hockey and from there on out we just used that confidence to keep building.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
THIS IS OUR CITY
In a gesture of citywide solidarity, two pro teams that also play in L.A. tweeted congratulatory messages to the Kings for their improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
CAN'T GET IT RIGHT
At first it was NBC LA botching the Kings’ logo, then it was FOX’s Liz Habib butchering some highlights, and now it’s CBS’ turn to screw up something LA Kings-related.
CBS rolled some Kings mascot footage before showing Kings-Coyotes highlights from Game 4, but they used the Sacramento Kings mascot.
Disappointingly, the blunder gives CBS LA into repeat offender status...
After a 19-year wait, the Kings have returned to a land last traversed by Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Kelly Hrudey and pals: the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Kings didn't make it easy on themselves. After winning the first three games of the Western Conference Finals against Phoenix, the Kings lost Game 4 at home before they won 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night in Glendale, Ariz...
GET THAT OUTTA HERE
The Los Angeles Kings pulled off an incredible feat on Tuesday night, eliminating the Phoenix Coyotes by winning yet another road game, 4-3 in overtime. The win gave the Kings a 4-1 series win and put them in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993.
While Dustin Penner’s overtime goal won the game, Los Angeles wouldn’t have had a chance without goalie Jonathan...
Dustin Penner scored 17:42 into overtime and the Los Angeles Kings are headed to the Stanley Cup finals for the second time as a franchise after beating the Phoenix Coyotes with a 4-3 win in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night.
Penner gathered a bouncing puck and beat Mike Smith between the pads for the game-winner, extending the Kings' road winning streak...
What's to be said of this Los Angeles team that limped into the playoffs, and cruised to the Stanley Cup Finals in 14 games?
What's more impressive: That the Kings have scored goals at will after a season in which they couldn't buy one when they needed it most? Or, that Jonathan Quick has allowed 22 goals in the 14 games he's played?
What could be more remarkable...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, ... Controversy aside, the reality is that the best team clearly won the series. There’s no denying that. And while you have to admire the incredible tenacity the Coyotes showed right to the end, playing a superb game Tuesday night in trying to stay alive, the deeper and more talented squad is representing the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup finals...
The Kings are back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993. Now, they just have to wait to find out if their captain will be on the ice with them for Game 1 next Wednesday. Dustin Brown's status should not be in question, but in this suspension-crazy era of NHL hockey, there will be plenty ready to call for him to be banned after a controversial hit just seconds...
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Dustin Penner scored 17:42 into overtime and the Los Angeles Kings are headed to the Stanley Cup finals for the second time as a franchise after beating the Phoenix Coyotes with a 4-3 win in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night.
Penner gathered a bouncing puck and beat Mike Smith between the pads for the game-winner, extending the Kings&...
"We're gonna need a bigger bandwagon" - Dustin Penner
It was great to be there.
A Cessna twin prop to the Glendale airport, food with tons of Kings fans before the game, nail biting game, controversy, bad refs (both ways) ...
Dustin Penner's goal means the 19 year drought is over.
God I love hockey.
I have a 16 hour day ahead of me tomorrow. How...
Would you have assessed 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct to Drew Doughty? The call was 2 for interference and don’t forget it was in OT.
Here comes a Playoff Videos After Hours edition that has the Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Kings...
A hearty congrats to the LA Kings and the ECF goes on....have a great night everyone!
<a href="http://www.mogreet.com/moshare/it/" class="moshare-button-hor" data-channel="wordpress-1.2.8" data-message="If you missed the drama that took place in the final three minutes of OT between the L.A. Kings and Phoenix Coyotes last night, then you missed some solid entertainment. Moments before Dustin Penner netted the overtime winner,...