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In Stanley Cup final, Rangers and Kings renew New York-Los Angeles rivalry

Monday, 06.02.2014 / 12:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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In Stanley Cup final, Rangers and Kings renew New York-Los Angeles rivalry

The New York Rangers will meet the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup final, the first time teams from New York and Los Angeles have faced off for a championship in North American professional sports since 1981. It has happened seven previous times, with the New York team winning four of those finals.

The Rangers and Kings have met twice before in the playoffs, in 1979 and 1981, but neither was a best-of-seven series or a Cup final. New York won both of those meetings.

Here's a look at the seven championship matchups between New York and Los Angeles, all of which came in baseball or the NBA:

1963 World Series: Dodgers over Yankees

Six years after moving to Los Angeles from Brooklyn, the Dodgers won their third World Series in franchise history by sweeping the Yankees. Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was the series MVP.

1970 NBA Finals: Knicks over Lakers

Knicks star Willis Reed pulled off what was later voted the greatest moment in Madison Square Garden history by stepping onto the floor for Game 7 despite a severe leg injury. The Finals MVP scored the first two baskets of the game — his only ones — as New York won its first title.

1972 NBA Finals: Lakers over Knicks

Two years later, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich and Jerry West helped the Lakers roll to a five-game series victory. Chamberlain was series MVP with 19 points and 23 rebounds a game.

1973 NBA Finals: Knicks over Lakers

Willis Reed returned after an injury-plagued 1971-72 season to lead the way for another Knicks championship. New York dropped Game 1, then won the next four. Injuries forced Reed to retire a year later.

1977 World Series: Yankees over Dodgers

Reggie Jackson starting building his resume as "Mr. October" with this MVP performance as the Yankees beat the Dodgers in six. Jackson hit .450 with five home runs and eight RBIs to help the Yankees to their first World Series win since 1962.

1978 World Series: Yankees over Dodgers

Bucky Dent, loathed and remembered in Boston for his home run to beat the Red Sox in a divisional playoff game, hit .417 against the Dodgers as the Yankees won their second straight World Series. Reggie Jackson again had eight RBIs but, alas, in '78 he only hit a measly .391.

1981 World Series: Dodgers over Yankees

Fernandomania was in full swing, as rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela helped the Dodgers rebound from losing the first two games on the road to capture the World Series in six. Third baseman Ron Cey, outfielder Pedro Guerrero and catcher Steve Yeager were named co-MVPs.

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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

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