L.A. Kings reign over New Jersey Devils to clinch Stanley Cup
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — A few players bled, some fans wiped away sweat, and others wept for joy as the Los Angeles Kings blasted away 45 years of futility with a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils to capture the Stanley Cup.
The win marks the first National Hockey League championship for the Kings in the team’s history.
Los Angeles, virtually disregarded going into the playoffs, became the first-ever No. 8 seed and lowest seed in the modern era to win the NHL championship.
Captain Dustin Brown hoisted the cup before a roaring home crowd at the Staples Center before the trophy passed from one screaming King to another.
Goalie Jonathan Quick displayed his usual prowess, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player during the playoffs. But he deferred credit for the Kings’ success to the team.
“You can’t say enough about this group and how hard they worked,” Quick said.
Champagne flowed freely in the Kings’ locker room — including into the Stanley Cup itself.
The mood was much more somber on the Devils’ side, where right wing Steve Bernier lamented a five-minute penalty during which the Kings scored half their points.
“I’m not the kind of player that wants to hurt this team, I want to help them,” Bernier told reporters. “They scored three goals in those five minutes.”
The King’s recent surge has triggered a virulent case of hockey fever in sunny Southern California.
Long-suffering Kings fans streamed out of the Staples Center on Monday night screaming, “We’re No. 1!” amid a heavy police presence.
Some fans formed a mosh pit outside the arena, jumping and smashing into one another other in celebration.
As of late Monday evening, Los Angeles police reported no major violence outside the arena.
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 Devils have been among the NHL’s most consistent teams in recent decades. They’ve won three Stanley Cups, the most recent in 2003.