Few NHL teams have ever peaked in the postseason more perfectly than the Los Angeles Kings.
After a regular season rocked by struggles, false starts and big changes, the eighth-seeded Kings have turned into the powerhouse they expected to be all season.
Los Angeles needed only a record-tying 14 playoff games to reach its first Stanley Cup final since 1993, culminating in a five-game win over Phoenix. Although captain Dustin Brown superstitiously didn't touch the Campbell Bowl, the Kings earned just the second conference title banner for their rather empty wall at Staples Center.
After firing their coach near midseason, struggling to score all year long, and not clinching a playoff berth until the day of their 81st game, the eighth-seeded Kings will play for the franchise's first championship.