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Kings wrap up a spring to remember

by John Kreiser

It took the Los Angeles Kings 45 years to win their first Stanley Cup. But when they did, they won with a flourish.

The Kings completed their run to the Stanley Cup on Monday night by routing New Jersey 6-1 in Game 6 of the Final, capping a postseason in which they went 16-4. That leaves L.A. in a four-way tie for the fewest games needed to win the Cup since 1987, when the NHL adopted a best-of-seven format for all rounds of the playoffs.

The 1988 Edmonton Oilers won in 18 games (16-2), the fewest any team has needed to win the Cup in the last 25 years. The Kings are tied with the 1993 Montreal Canadiens, the 1995 New Jersey Devils and 1997 Detroit Red Wings for second place -- all won in 20 games.

The Kings matched the single-season playoff record for road wins with 10 -- equaling the mark set by the 1995 and 2000 Devils and the 2004 Calgary Flames. But they set an NHL record by winning their first 10 games away from home, and another with a 12-game road winning streak over two seasons.

Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick also set a pair of records. His 1.41 goals-against average was the lowest of any goaltender to play 15 or more games in one playoff year, surpassing the 1.55 GAA by Detroit's Chris Osgood four years ago. His .946 save percentage was a tick better than the .945 mark of Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2003 -- interestingly, both played the Devils and both won the Conn Smythe, although Giguere's Anaheim Ducks came up a win short of the Cup.

The Kings also became the fourth straight Cup champ that began its season in Europe. L.A. started its season with games in Stockholm and Berlin. The 2009 Penguins (Stockholm), '10 Blackhawks (Helsinki) and last year's Bruins (Prague) also started their seasons on the other side of the Atlantic.

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