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Friday, October 24th, 2014

Los Angeles Kings Capture NHL’s Stanley Cup

The Lakers and the Dodgers have company in Los Angeles. The L.A. Kings of the National Hockey League are champions, too. With their 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils Monday night, the Kings captured the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

The 4-2 best-of-seven series win ended 45 years of disappointment for the Kings, who did so with a remarkable playoff run of 16-4.  They were an eighth seed, by far the lowest to win the Cup. Since the NHL started seeding its conferences one through eight in 1993-94, only one bottom-four seed had ever won it all – the 1995 Devils, a fifth seed in a lockout-shortened season.

These Kings were commoners for much of 2011-12, underachieving in a league of salary-capped equality. General manager Dean Lombardi fired coach Terry Murray and brought in Darryl Sutter in December. He acquired sniper Jeff Carter before the trade deadline in February. Despite a talented roster that had been expected to contend, the Kings ranked second-to-last in the league in scoring. They grabbed the final playoff spot in the West.

And look at them now. After taking a 3-0 series lead, New Jersey took Games 4 and 5. But that was the end of the Devils’ good fortune. The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 advantage Monday night and did not let up.

Now, they will receive a champions’ parade soon — the same accorded to Lakers and Dodgers.

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