LOS ANGELES, Calif. - When the Los Angeles Kings stunned top-seeded Vancouver to win their first-round playoff series a year ago, they had to acknowledge the importance of their franchise's first post-season advancement in 11 years.
The Kings standards for celebration have risen a bit in the past year.
A day after Los Angeles earned its fourth straight one-goal victory to finish off the tough St. Louis Blues on Friday night, the defending Stanley Cup champions barely acknowledged the achievement.
The Kings already are imagining another long playoff run built around Jonathan Quick's goaltending, a sturdy defence and four talented lines.
Los Angeles is the first NHL champion to get out of the first round in three years, and the Kings are focused on becoming the NHL's first repeat Stanley Cup winner since 1998.