Kings Classics Watch Guide
There were so many parts that came together in concert as the Los Angeles Kings won their first-ever Stanley Cup after a thrilling 16-4 run against the National Hockey League’s elite. FOX Sports West will be airing all 16 of the Kings’ wins, beginning Oct. 17 with Games 1 and 2 of the Vancouver series. The games will be presented in two-game blocks every Wednesday night beginning at 7 p.m. through Dec. 5.
To prepare you for these games, and to re-live some of the highlights you might have forgotten, please check back to this handy viewing guide and leave your own impressions in the comments section.
Re-broadcast Date: Oct. 17, 2012:
Game 2, Western Conference Quarterfinals - April 11, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 4, Vancouver Canucks 2
What we’ll always remember: Mike Richards intercepting a lackadaisical Alex Edler clearing attempt before feeding Jeff Carter, who deftly redirected the puck off his skate to an unmarked Dustin Penner for an easy-bang in to break a 2-2 tie with 3:14 to play. Richards’ heavy open ice hit on Alex Burrows near the Vancouver bench with 30 seconds to play added an exclamation point to the first of 16 Kings playoff wins. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: How well Roberto Luongo played in this game - he stopped 35 of 38 shots and could not be faulted for the game-winning goal. Game puck goes to: Mike Richards. With a three-point, plus-two game in which he blocked two shots and tied for a team-high four hits, it was clear the veteran center was able to elevate his game in his Los Angeles playoff debut.
Game 2, Western Conference Quarterfinals - April 13, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 4, Vancouver Canucks 2
What we’ll always remember: Dustin Brown emerging as a Kings postseason hero with two shorthanded goals, including one in which he stripped a vulnerable Dam Hamhuis before striding in alone on a breakaway and beating Luongo top shelf by going forehand-backhand. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Jonathan Quick’s 46 saves marked his highest single-game total in the postseason. Game puck goes to: Dustin Brown. As opposing captain Ryan Kesler drew more notice for his dives and antics, Brown accumulated three goals and an assist in the series’ first two games.
Re-broadcast Date: Oct. 24, 2012
Game 3, Western Conference Quarterfinals - April 15, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 1, Vancouver Canucks 0
What we’ll always remember: Dustin Brown leveling Henrik Sedin with a highlight-reel hit, which like Richards’ hit in Game 1, was delivered on a prominent Canuck in front of the Vancouver bench. The deafening roar inside Staples Center when Brown broke a scoreless tie by scoring on a long rebound 6:30 into the third period will also endure in Kings fans’ memories. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Cory Schneider started in place of Roberto Luongo and contributed the first of three standout performances in net. Goaltending was not the Canucks’ heel in this series. Game puck goes to: The Kings’ penalty kill, which after this game was a perfect 14-for-14 in the series against a perpetually strong Canucks power play.
Game 5, Western Conference Quarterfinals - April 22, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 2, Vancouver Canucks 1 (OT)
What we’ll always remember: The sheer elation over Jarret Stoll’s overtime gamewinner. This was Los Angeles’ second series-clinching victory in 19 years – the other, at home versus Detroit in 2001, also came in overtime – and put to rest any ominous thoughts of a Vancouver resurgence that crept into Kings fans’ heads during overtime. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Trevor Lewis’ hustle play to dive in the neutral zone to poke the puck free from Dan Hamhuis in overtime, freeing the puck loose for a counter-attacking Stoll. Game puck goes to: Jonathan Quick. Had he not stopped Daniel Sedin on a breakaway with the Canucks leading 1-0 late in the second period, all bets are off on how this series ends, considering Vancouver’s hypothetical momentum, Schneider’s strong play and Sedin’s return from a concussion. This series was closer than a four-games-to-one Los Angeles win.
Re-broadcast Date: Oct. 31, 2012
Game 1, Western Conference Semifinals - April 28, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 3, St. Louis Blues 1
What we’ll always remember: Jonathan Quick’s first period sequence of saves on Andy McDonald, B.J. Crombeen and Patrick Berglund. Also, Matt Greene’s second period shorthanded goal proved to be the game-winner, something nobody would have predicted before the game. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: How much momentum St. Louis had early on, and how they were able to dictate the play for the first half of the first period. Slava Voynov’s game-tying goal with just over three minutes to play in the first period ended that. Also, Dwight King’s mostly inadvertent hit from behind that dented Alex Pietrangelo’s availability and effectiveness in this series came in Game 1 and had a profound impact. Game puck goes to: Jonathan Quick. Sense a trend here?
Game 2, Western Conference Semifinals - April 30, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 5, St. Louis Blues 2
What we’ll always remember: Anze Kopitar’s spectacular shorthanded toedrag goal around Brian Elliott keyed a first period rout of the Blues. Both the goal and the first period, in which Los Angeles outscored St. Louis, 4-0, are among the "best-of" franchise highlights. Obviously the first period in the Cup-clinching game against New Jersey should be recognized as a pinnacle moment, but this may have been the most dominant period the Kings have ever played. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Why was Carlo Coliacovo gliding along so apathetically before Dustin Brown stripped him of the puck before feeding Kopitar for his breathtaking goal? Also, Justin Williams’ answer just 68 seconds after Andy McDonald early second period goal deflated the crowd and eliminated any potential St. Louis momentum. Dustin Penner also absorbed a jarring open ice hit from T.J. Oshie late in the third period. "It was a great hit. I haven’t been hit that hard in a while. It actually almost felt good, it was so pure," Penner said. Game puck goes to: Anze Kopitar, and not just for the offense he provided. He was the best two-way forward in this series.
Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 7, 2012
Game 3, Western Conference Semifinals - May 3, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 4, St. Louis Blues 2
What we’ll always remember: 18,362 Kings fans united in their heckling of Brian "ELLLLL-III-OTTT." Allowing four goals on 22 shots wasn’t the hallmark moment of an All-Star season for the veteran goalie. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Jaroslav Halak’s ankle injury. The Blues excelled with a balanced goaltending tandem all season long and emerged as the league’s top defensive team. When Halak was felled by injury in the first round series against San Jose, a heavier weight was placed on the shoulders of Elliott, who became overexposed in Games 2 and 3 of this series. Game puck goes to: Drew Doughty. It wasn’t just his three-point night – it was the inherent dynamism in his game creeping into all aspects of his play. Offensively, defensively and in transition, Doughty’s Game 3 highlighted the all-around development he showed late in the regular season. Rightfully known for his offensive attributes, he was among the best all-around defensemen throughout the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Game 4, Western Conference Semifinals - May 6, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 3, St. Louis Blues 1
What we’ll always remember: Dustin Brown setting off a wild celebration at Staples Center with an empty-net goal that iced the series - and promptly getting railroaded by an excited Anze Kopitar. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Where the heck was T.J. Oshie this series? Where was David Perron? Kopitar’s ability to stuff a loose puck into Jonathan Quick’s pads during a mad scramble in the third period was another one of those "How did that puck stay out? Oh, right, Jonathan Quick" moments. Game puck goes to: Dustin Brown, who also snuck a quick wrister past Elliott for the game-winner late in the first period.
Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 14, 2012
Game 1, Western Conference Finals - May 13, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 4, Phoenix Coyotes 2
What we’ll always remember: Derek Morris sneaking a 99-foot slapshot past Jonathan Quick midway through the first period wasn’t the most impactful goal of the playoffs, but it sure was memorable. Also, Dustin Brown’s game-winner 2:11 into the third period allowed Kings fans to exhale after they entered the third period tied at two. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Dwight King had two goals in this game against an excellent Mike Smith and fulfilled the "unsung heroes" quotient of Sutter’s Law – an offhand recitation that identified "goaltenders, special teams, top players, unsung heroes and discipline" as the keys towards succeeding in the playoffs. Game puck goes to: Dustin Brown. Phoenix was also rallying their own storybook tendencies throughout this game by virtue of Smith, who maintained a 2-2 tie after two periods in which the Kings were clearly the better team. Brown’s early third period goal was a fitting moment in a game Los Angeles deserved to win.
Game 2, Western Conference Finals- May 15, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 4, Phoenix Coyotes 0
What we’ll always remember: The nastiness of this game and how it will help build the base of a Los Angeles-Phoenix rivalry. Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal received major penalties and game misconducts for boarding and Derek Morris’ third period knee-on-knee hit on Rob Scuderi was worse than any of the questionable hits that followed in this series. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Colin Fraser missed this game because his 19-month old son, Calder, was ill and had to be admitted to a hospital. He flew back to Red Deer, Alberta to be with his family and also missed Game 3. Game puck goes to: Jeff Carter. He exploded with Los Angeles’ first playoff hat trick since Wayne Gretzky’s heroics in Game 7 against Toronto in 1993 and was excellent in all three zones. He forechecked, he backchecked and provided the exact skill package Dean Lombardi had envisioned when trading for him in February. This game set the stage for the success Carter experienced against New Jersey in the Stanley Cup Final.
Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 21, 2012
Game 3, Western Conference Finals - May 17, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 2, Phoenix Coyotes 1
What we’ll always remember: The hectic Staples Center schedule the week of this game. "The sports and entertainment capital of the world" hosted six Kings, Clippers and Lakers playoff games over a four-day stretch that tested the limits of TV, production and grounds crews inside the 13-year old arena. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: That the Kings trailed in this game – for all of 127 seconds. After Daymond Langkow opened the scoring 1:03 into the second period, Anze Kopitar was sprung loose on a breakaway by Dustin Brown and deftly slid the puck between the pads of Mike Smith, who was excellent in the first period and for much of this game. Game puck goes to: Dwight King. His wristshot from the right circle during a delayed penalty call early in the third period served as the game-winner and furthered his contributions from the St. Louis and Phoenix series.
Game 5, Western Conference Finals - May 22, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 4, Phoenix Coyotes 3 (OT)
What we’ll always remember: Everything – this was one of the greatest games in Kings history. There was Dustin Penner’s overtime game-winner, Dustin Brown lining up Michal Roszival for a borderline body-on-body hit that went un-penalized shortly before Penner’s winner, an acrimonious handshake line, Jonathan Quick stacking the pads and using the top of his skate to rob Radim Vrbata of what seemed like a certain goal, Martin Hanzal’s little jump in the air after assisting on Taylor Pyatt’s first period goal and Mike Smith’s slashing attempt on Mike Richards after the final goal was scored. This is how rivalries are born. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: How Penner was able to get such an accurate shot off on a bouncing puck. Also, Vrbata’s disappearing act. The snakebitten winger who scored 35 regular season goals did not score in five games against Los Angeles and tallied just one assist over his final eight playoff games. Game puck goes to: Dustin Penner. You score the goal that puts the Kings in the Stanley Cup, you win the game puck. Drew Doughty was also excellent in this game, even if his emotions exploded in overtime when he was whistled for an interference call. If this was a regular season game, he would’ve received an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 28, 2012
Game 1, Stanley Cup Final - May 30, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 2, New Jersey Devils 1 (OT)
What we’ll always remember: The extreme elation over Anze Kopitar’s backhand-forehand game winner past Martin Brodeur that gave Los Angeles only its second-ever victory in a Stanley Cup Final game. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: The bizarre, pinballing sequence of events that led to Justin Williams’ no-look feed to a streaking Kopitar. New Jersey had been sustaining some pressure and after Dustin Brown had the puck knocked off his stick during an attempted breakout, Drew Doughty was there to offer support in getting the puck up the left wing boards to Williams. Game puck goes to: Anze Kopitar. The overtime gamewinner – his seventh of the playoffs – gave the Kings a major early boost on the road and maintained the team’s momentum from previous series.
Game 2, Stanley Cup Final - June 2, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 2, New Jersey Devils 1 (OT)
What we’ll always remember: Drew Doughty’s electrifying end-to-end goal that produced yet another highlight reel moment and gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead in the first period. "I actually remember [Scott] Niedermayer, when he played in New Jersey, having a couple of end-to-enders," he said after the game. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: We’ll always remember Jeff Carter’s overtime game-winning snipe past a screened Martin Brodeur, but what might get lost from that play was the terrific effort by Carter to set the goal up. Receiving a pass at the redline, he used his speed down the right wing to blow past Andy Greene before attempting a cross-crease pass to Dustin Penner. That pass was blocked, but after circling behind the net, he picked the puck up to Brodeur’s right, skated to the top of the left circle and unleashed a pinpoint wristshot that beat Broduer stick-side. Game puck goes to: The entire Kings team. They improved to 10-0 in the 2012 postseason and won their 12th consecutive playoff road game, courtesy of Carter’s happy ending.
Re-broadcast Date: Dec. 5, 2012
Game 3, Stanley Cup Final - June 4, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 4, New Jersey Devils 0
What we’ll always remember: Anze Kopitar scoring off the rush on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that started when Justin Williams dropped the puck off the boards to Brown, who slid the puck across the ice to Kopitar, who snapped the pass up high past Brodeur for a 2-0 lead. Fans had to be removed from the ceiling after this tic-tac-toe highlight. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: Matt Greene’s defensive efforts, which should come as no surprise after watching the rugged, physical defenseman in a Kings jersey for four years. His four blocked shots were a game high, while his seven hits led all defensemen in this game. Game puck goes to: Justin Williams, who was rewarded for his patience and speed in this game. He was among the best forwards on the ice for much of the Stanley Cup Final.
Game 6, Stanley Cup Final - June 11, 2012
Los Angeles Kings 6, New Jersey Devils 1
What we’ll always remember: Wiping away 44 years of frustration with a raucous celebration in the Kings zone as time expired and the Stanley Cup was wheeled onto the ice in front of 18,858 delirious fans. There was also that five-minute boarding major assessed to Steve Bernier in the first period that led to three Los Angeles goals. What might get a little fuzzy 10 years from now: If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen this game in its entirety a handful of times, so there’s not really a whole lot that may eventually become hazy. There was the excellent hustle play by Dwight King for the Kings’ third goal, in which he willed the puck deep into the New Jersey zone before throwing it towards the crease, where it was tipped in by Trevor Lewis – a pair of heads up plays by two unsung contributors. Patrick Elias hit the crossbar from the high slot late in the first period with the Kings leading 3-0. And linesman Pierre Racicot was injured during a collision with Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov that led to the fourth L.A. goal. Game puck goes to: Dean Lombardi and Darryl Sutter. It was Lombardi’s moves that brought in Sutter and forward Jeff Carter, the latter of whom greatly opened up the Kings’ offensive capabilities. Sutter had his team fully bought in through the spring, and with his accountability and a roster stocked with key players under long term contracts, this may not be the last time we’ll analyze a string of 16 postseason wins.