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Monday July 28 2014
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KINGS WIN STANLEY CUP

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Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis scored twice, Conn Smyth winner Jonathan Quick made 17 saves and Dustin Brown became just the second American-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup as the L.A. Kings beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 Monday night in Game 6 of the finals.

No team has ever won Game 6 of a Stanley Cup Final after leading the series 3-0 after the first three games.

Until now.

For the first time since the Kings’ inception in the City of Angels in 1966, Lord Stanley was lifted high above the heads of hockey royalty. Los Angles netted three goals in just under four minutes in the first period during a 5-minute major penalty, eventually leading the #8 seed of the Western Conference to a 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in sunny southern California.

It was the first time in NHL history a team won the first three game of a finals series, dropped the next two and won in six games.

It all started for the Kings and condemned the Devils when L.A. defenseman and former Penguin Rob Scuderi drew a five minute major penalty after New Jersey’s Steve Bernier hit him from behind 10:10 into the first period. With Petr Sykora, serving the penalty in the box for the Devils, the Kings opened up the scoring at 11:03 with a tip-in by captain Dustin Brown on a pass from Drew Doughty.

Jeff Carter found the back of the net at 12:45 when he deflected a shot from Brown to make it 2-0 for Los Angeles.  Not long after, and with only seconds left on the Kings’ power play, Trevor Lewis made it 3-0 for LA at 15:01 on a rebound from Dwight King.

The second period started strong and ended strong for L.A. as Carter scored his second goal of the night at 1:30, upping the score to 4-0. The Kings found themselves on yet another big power play at 6:00 when New Jersey’s Bryce Salvador was called for high sticking, but were unable to capitalize.

The Devils finally put one past Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick when center Adam Henrique put New Jersey on the board at 18:47. The score stood at 4-1 after 40 minutes of play heading into the third and final period of the 2011-12 season.

An empty net goal by Lewis 16:15 into the third cushioned LA’s lead even further, making the score 5-1, but they weren’t done there. Matt Greene slid one past Martin Brodeur at 16:30, giving the Kings a five goal, 6-1 lead.

Dustin Brown posted a three-point night with one goal and two assists. Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis had two goals apiece. Drew Doughty, Mike Richards and Dwight King each had two assists.  2012 Conn Smythe winner and goaltender Jonathan Quick blocked 18 of 19 shots on goal.

I was in a minor league press box in Charlotte, NC, last month, taking in one of Gregory Polanco’s final triple-A games. A colleague, upon learning I was from Pittsburgh, approached me with a question.
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