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Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Cup-championship puck on its way to L.A.

Friday, 06.29.2012 / 9:33 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

NHL.com

The mystery of the missing puck from the end of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final has been solved. New Jersey's Patrik Elias found it in his equipment bag.

Michael Altieri, the Kings' vice president of communication, told L.A. Kings Insider Rich Hammond that the team got a call to say the puck would be returned.

Elias, according to the Devils, returned from vacation, went to the rink, checked his equipment bag found the puck and will be sending it to the Kings. Altieri said the Kings, to thank Elias, will make a donation to the player's favorite charity, UNICEF. The puck has been identified as the correct one, according to Hammond.

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Kings and fans celebrate franchise's first Stanley Cup

Thursday, 06.14.2012 / 7:15 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES – It was a sight no one was prepared for -- Jonathan Quick practically had to be pulled away from a microphone.

The normally subdued Los Angeles Kings goaltender provided a non-PG rated flashpoint of the team's rally Thursday when, during a live television broadcast, he blurted out what many hockey observers thought throughout the team's drive to the Stanley Cup.

"How about this [expletive] team?" Quick said.

Yes, this was a day of firsts for Quick and Los Angeles, which celebrated the first Stanley Cup in the team's 45-year history amid a blizzard of silver-and-black confetti. Earlier, the media-shy Quick conducted perhaps his longest media scrum of the season, to the point where he stayed well after a team staffer tried to end it.

A few feet from Quick stood Willie Mitchell, who still sported his playoff beard but, like his clean-shaven teammates, was bleary-eyed with cheeks sore from smiling. If there was a face of the exhausted joy of the Kings, it was the 35-year-old Mitchell after he stepped off a bus from the team's victory parade down Figueroa Street into a darkened corridor of Staples Center.

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Russian coach celebrates Scuderi's second Cup

Thursday, 06.14.2012 / 4:18 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's the ultimate all-American story.

A Soviet hockey coach comes to the United States immediately after the end of the Cold War with little more than a guest visa and $150. After working in demolition, he eventually finds a coaching job on Long Island, ultimately turning the area into a fertile ground for hockey talent. With one of his pupils, Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi, now a Stanley Cup champion for the second time, the classic American tale continues for Aleksey Nikiforov.

"It makes me feel great. It proved to me that I know something," said Nikiforov, who has spent the past few years coaching the Suffolk P.A.L. Junior B team, which won a national championship in 2009. "When Darius Kasparaitis was young and was playing hockey, I told his mother and father that, 'One day, you'll see your son [playing] on big, big ice.' And that happened. It was a feeling."

For the Long Island hockey guru who also groomed NHL players Chris Higgins, Mike Komisarek, and Matt Gilroy, it all started with Kasparaitis. One of Nikiforov's first players in Lithuania, the defenseman would win a Soviet league championship before playing more than 800 NHL games and earning Olympic and world championship gold in 1992.

For a dominant Soviet national team with a roster scouted mostly from Moscow and St. Petersburg, Nikiforov was hailed for finding talent off the radar. The Soviet government even rewarded the coach with a three-bedroom apartment for helping them find world-class players in a region not known as a hockey hotbed.

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Kings Cup victory twice as nice for Pulford

Thursday, 06.14.2012 / 3:56 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Bob Pulford watched the Los Angeles Kings win their first Stanley Cup with a victory in Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, he did it alone in his basement. The former NHL player, coach and general manager needed the space, especially considering the anxiety he felt watching the Kings, a team he helped bring to prominence 30 years ago which now is run by his son-in-law, Dean Lombardi.

"There was lots of family [in the house], but none around me," Pulford, a former Kings captain and coach, told NHL.com. "That's how I watch it. Because of Dean, I was nervous about it."

A player on the Toronto Maple Leafs' last Stanley Cup-winning team, Pulford was overjoyed to have a second Cup winner in the family, immediately calling Lombardi to congratulate him. But the Kings' big win wasn't just a huge accomplishment for a family member. In many ways, it was a culmination for someone who played on some of the earliest Kings teams before ushering in the first golden age of California hockey as the team's coach, a job that earned Pulford the Jack Adams Award in 1975.

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Devils absolve Bernier, who looks to put hit in past

Wednesday, 06.13.2012 / 4:49 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils right wing Steve Bernier admits seeing the overwhelming support of fans when the team arrived home on Tuesday really helped put his mind at ease the last 24 hours.

The Los Angeles Kings scored three goals in Game 6 on Monday during Bernier's five-minute major penalty for boarding defenseman Rob Scuderi in the opening period. The 27-year-old was also ejected and forced to watch the remainder of the Stanley Cup Final-clinching 6-1 loss from the locker room.

"In all fairness to Bernier, he played great and those things could have happened to any player," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "Any player in that type of situation, the way that rule is, the player turns and you're doing your job. His job is to finish and take the body, which he did consistently."

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Five reasons the Kings are champions

Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 6:37 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- It took three tries, but the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup on Monday night and are champions of the NHL for the first time in the 45-year history of the franchise.

The Kings began the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, but rolled past the top three seeds en route to the Stanley Cup Final with only two losses. New Jersey proved a stiffer test, doubling L.A.'s loss total in the postseason, but the Kings still managed a sparkling 16-4 record en route to claiming the Cup.

Here's a look at five of the reasons why the Kings have been crowned after an amazing postseason run:

Jonathan Quick
Goalie - LAK
RECORD: 16-4-0
GAA: 1.41 | SVP: 0.946
1. Historic work in net: Jonathan Quick was an easy choice as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, and he authored one of the best postseasons by a goaltender in the League's history. Quick finished with a .946 save percentage and a 1.41 goals against average, which are the best totals for goaltenders who played at least 10 games in a postseason. He was even better in the Final against the Devils, yielding only seven goals in the six games and stopping 125 of the 132 shots he faced. Quick was the biggest reason the Kings made the playoffs, carrying an offensively-challenged team until general manager Dean Lombardi provided some reinforcements, and he is the biggest reason they are champions.

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Stoll, Greene changed culture of Kings

Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 4:20 PM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- By the summer of 2008, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi was already building his championship roster through the draft. It was time to add a few veteran players, some respected professionals who knew what winning and losing was all about.

Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene had come oh-so-close to reaching the mountaintop in 2006 with the Edmonton Oilers. They went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Carolina Hurricanes. Lombardi wanted to add that type of player to his collection of young talent that included Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick and the recently drafted and incredibly hyped Drew Doughty.

"They are, when you're building, almost like culture changers," Lombardi said after the Kings' 6-1 Stanley Cup-clinching win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday at Staples Center.

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Ted Nolan enjoyed being just a hockey dad

Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 10:08 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- There he was, a proud hockey dad on the ice, hugging his kid and searching for more of his family members that were trying to get down to join him.

Ted Nolan never pictured himself in this situation. The former coach of the Sabres and Islanders never had this dream of watching his youngest son win the Stanley Cup.

"When he picked up the Cup, I can't even describe it. It's just a very, very special feeling."
-- Ted Nolan on watching his son, Jordan, hoist the Stanley Cup on Monday night

But he lived it Monday night at Staples Center. The father of Kings rookie Jordan Nolan celebrated like every other ecstatic father of a Kings player or coach after Los Angeles' Cup-clinching 6-1 win against New Jersey.

Ted Nolan couldn't imagine feeling any better than he did in that moment.

"I've been fortunate to do some things in life, but nothing compares to watching your son do it," he said. "I never would have dreamed about this in my life. I was nervous. I was a parent. That was a great feeling, to watch your son go through something like this -- being a parent versus being a coach and walking through it with him. It was a great experience and I'll never forget it."

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Quick's skill, Kovy's production reasons Devils lost

Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 9:54 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- The New Jersey Devils surprised many by advancing to the Stanley Cup Final as a No. 6 seed one season after missing the playoffs. In the end, they ran into a better, even more surprising team, the Los Angeles Kings.

The Devils fought back from down 3-0 in the best-of-7 series to force a Game 6, but a five-minute major for boarding assessed to forward Steve Bernier in the first period ultimately led to their demise. The Kings scored three times on the power play and rolled to a 6-1 win Monday at Staples Center for their first championship in franchise history.

How did the Devils come up two games short of the fourth title in the club's history? Here are five reasons:

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Brodeur, 40, believes he has more hockey to play

Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 2:07 AM / Devils vs Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Final

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- There was the 40-year-old Martin Brodeur chatting briefly the 26-year-old Jonathan Quick in the handshake line after the Kings captured the Stanley Cup with a 6-1 victory in Game 6 at Staples Center on Monday night.

Only it wasn't the wise, veteran Brodeur doing all the talking; it was Quick doing most of the whispering into the future Hall-of-Famer's ear.

Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 14-9-3
GAA: 2.12 | SVP: 0.917
What was the Conn Smythe Trophy-winning Quick telling Brodeur?

"He wanted to make sure I don't retire," Brodeur said. "I guess he likes beating me."

Brodeur, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, said he has yet to decide if he wants to come back next season, but he gave every indication that he wants to return to New Jersey if he returns.

"I want to play … I think I want to play," Brodeur said. "I'll talk to my little girl and see what she thinks. I'm sure she's going to want to see me play. The Devils is what I am, it's what I believe in and this is where I want to be."

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