Los Angeles Kings seek to make Game 4 a coronation | NHL
The Los Angeles Kings, chasing their first NHL title, seek a sweep of the visiting New Jersey Devils on Wednesday in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Devils @ Kings, Game 4,
5 p.m., NBCSN and CBUT
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Goaltender Jonathan Quick remembers eating ice pops with friends and watching their beloved New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup on television in 1994. Dustin Brown vaguely recalls Joe Nieuwendyk bringing the Cup to Ithaca, N.Y., but can't remember if he got to see it up close.
With one more victory by their Los Angeles Kings, the standout goalie and the courageous captain will have the Stanley Cup in their hands, above their heads — even in the Pacific Ocean, if they choose.
The stage is set for a California coronation in Game 4 Wednesday night. The Kings could complete a sweep of the New Jersey Devils in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final in front of a fan base that has been waiting 45 years for the team to win an NHL championship.
"It's right there in front of us, but we know there's one more step," Brown said Tuesday at the Kings' complex. "We don't want to trip now."
The Kings, who got the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference, are dominating the playoffs with an ease that is stranger than ice in sunny Los Angeles. They are on a 15-2 playoff run that has one equal in league history, leaving people searching for superlatives to describe the way Los Angeles has steamrolled every opponent in its path — by a combined 49-24 margin.
"There's a lot at the end there to look forward to, if we play the right way," center Jarret Stoll said. "I'm sure we'll talk a lot about it the next day and a half to get ready, making sure we're playing the right way, having the right attitude. Can't get too excited, look too far ahead."
The Kings have a chance to match Edmonton's NHL-record 16-2 run through the 1988 playoffs in Game 4, but they aren't getting too high.
"It doesn't count any more than the rest of them did," said Quick, who has allowed 24 goals in 17 playoff games. "Obviously, we're not going to start thinking about stuff that hasn't happened yet."
The Devils, seeded sixth in the East, dropped two overtime games at home before losing 4-0 Monday in Los Angeles.
"I don't think we believe we deserve to be in the hole we're in," New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think we played better than the situation indicates, but that's hockey."
• Michel Therrien, 48, is coach of the Montreal Canadiens again, succeeding Randy Cunneyworth.
Therrien coached the Canadiens from 2000 until he was replaced by Claude Julien in 2003.