The L.A. Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history Monday night, beating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 on home ice at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles entered Tuesday’s contest up 3-2 in the series. After the Kings won the first three games in a row, the Devils frustrated L.A.’s attempts to secure the cup for two straight contests.
The Kings, led by goalie Jonathan Quick and center Anze Kopitar, have been defying the norm for much of the last few weeks -- dominating at times and ultimately winning the Cup despite having squeezed into the playoffs as a No. 8 seed, and triggering a virulent case of hockey fever in sunny southern California.
The last time the Kings garnered this much attention back home was in the late 1980s and early 1990s, propelled by the league's all-time top scorer, Wayne Gretzky.
"The Great One" and now-ESPN analyst Barry Melrose led the franchise, which began play in 1967, to a Stanley Cup finals showdown with Montreal in 1993. But the Kings lost that series decisively, and until this year had never won the NHL's ultimate prize.