Los Angeles Kings
1967/68: Things had all come together at once for Jack Kent Cooke the eccentric owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, with a spectacular arena in the Great Western Forum about to open and the NHL about to expand. Cooke who was Canadian Born and missed hockey had long dreamed to bring hockey to Hollywood and with expansion he had that opportunity, as the Kings are one of six expansion teams to join the NHL. Placed with the other five new teams the Kings wearing colorful purple and gold uniforms would finish second in the Western Conference with a record of 31-32-11. However in the playoffs the Kings would be beaten in seven games by the Minnesota North Stars.
1968/69: In their second season the Kings would struggle all season posting a record of 24-42-10. However, in the all-expansion Western Division it would be good enough for fourth place to earn a playoff berth. In a battle of California the Kings would beat the Oakland Seals in a hard fought seven games series. However, in the Western Finals the Kings would crash to reality as they are swept in four straight games by the St. Louis Blues.
1969/70: The Kings would play miserable hockey all season as they finished dead last with a horrible record of 14-52-10.
1970/71: The Kings struggles continued as they miss the playoffs for the second straight season, while finishing in fifth place with a 25-40-13 record.
1971/72: The Kings struggles continued as they finish in last place for the second time in three years with an awful record of 20-49-9.
1972/73: The Kings show some light improvement while missing the playoffs again, finishing in sixth place with a record of 31-36-11.
1973/74: The Kings end a four year absence from the playoffs by finishing in third place with a record of 33-33-12. However, the Kings would make a quick exit in the playoffs as they are beaten by the Chicago Black Hawks in five games.
1974/75: With realignment the Kings are placed in the Norris Division in the Prince of Wales Commence. Despite playing in a division with the Montreal Canadiens the Kings put together a stung season posting the third best record overall while finishing in second place with a 42-17-21 record. However, in the playoffs the Kings would get a cold dose of reality as they are beaten by the Toronto Maple Leafs in a three game series.
1975/76: The Kings who have brought several star players like Bob Pulford and Terry Sawchuk past their prime acquire Marcel Dionne in a trade from the Detroit Red Wings. Dionne who is just coming into his prime gives LA its first true hockey superstar. With Dionne leading the way the Kings finish in second place with a 38-33-9 record. In the playoffs Rogie Vachon would allow just one goal as the Kings extinguished the Atlanta Flames in two straight games. However, in the second round the Kings would fall in a hard fought seven game series to the Boston Bruins.
1976/77: Marcel Dionne scores 53 goals as the Kings finish in second place with a 34-31-15 record. In the Playoffs the Kings would beat the Atlanta Flames in a three game series, before falling to the Boston Bruins in the second round again this time losing in six games.
1977/78: Despite slipping below .500 with a record of 31-34-15 the Kings finish in third place, and make the playoffs for the fifth straight season. However, it would be a quick exit as the Kings are buried by the Toronto Maple Leafs losing two straight games, by a combined score of 11-3.
1978/79: Marcel Dionne is joined by Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer, who form the Triple Crown line. The addition of the line mates helps Dionne put together a solid season scoring 59 goals. However, the Kings would only mage to finish in third place with a record of 34-34-12 as they allowed 286 goals on the season. In the playoffs the Kings goaltending problems would catch up with them as they are flattened by the New York Rangers in two straight games, allowing nine goals. The Kings are a part of history as they are sold by Jack Kent Cooke along with the Lakers and the Forum to Jerry Buss for a then record $67 Million, the largest business transaction in sports history at that time. Buss would sell the Kings himself a short time later.
1979/80: Marcel Dionne captures the scoring title with 53 goals and 84 assists. However, the Kings would struggle to post a 30-36-14 record while allowing 313 goals. Despite their mediocre record the Kings would finish in second place and make the playoffs. However, it would be another quick exit as they are beaten by the New York Islanders in four games.
1980/81: Marcel Dionne continues to be one of the premier scores in the NHL posting his fourth 50-goal season in five years as the Kings finished in second Place with a solid 43-24-13 record. However in the playoffs the Kings would make another first round exit as they allowed 23 goals in four games as they lost to the New York Rangers three games to one.
1981/82: The NHL moves to a more geographical division setup as the Kings are moved into the Smythe Division. Marcel Dionne would score 50 goals, but the Kings would struggle miserably posting a 24-41-15 record while allowing a league high 369 goals. However, under the new playoff format the Kings who finished in 4th place would make the playoffs. The playoffs would get off to a wild start as the Kings beat the Edmonton Oilers 10-8 in a Game 1 shootout in Edmonton. After the Oilers won Game 2 the Kings appeared to be heading for defeat down 5-0 in the 3rd period at the Forum. However, the Kings would chip away at the lead tying the game with five seconds left on Steve Bozek’s goal with goalie pulled. In overtime the Forum would erupt when rookie Daryl Evans scored at 2:36 into overtime. After dropping Game 4 at home the Kings would again stun the Oilers 7-4 in the decisive 5th game in Edmonton. However in the Smythe Division Finals, the Kings would be knocked off by the Vancouver Canucks in five games never recovering from losing back-to-back games in overtime to fall behind 3-0 in the series.
1982/83: The Kings goaltending trouble catch up with them as they miss the playoffs for the first time in ten years while finishing in last place with a record of 27-41-12. Along the way Marcel Dionne would post another 50-goal season surpassing the 500-goal milestone in the process.
1983/84: Losing Marcel Dionne for part of the season to injury the Kings struggles continue as they finish in last place with an awful 23-44-13 record.
1984/85: Marcel Dionne nets his 600th career goal as the Kings make the playoffs after a two year absence posting a record of 34-32-14 while finishing in fourth place. However, in the playoffs the Kings would be swept in three straight games by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers losing two games in overtime.
1985/86: The Kings miss the playoffs for the third time in four years while finishing in last place with a record of 23-49-8.
1986/87: Marcel Dionne plays his last game in a Kings uniform as he is traded near the end of the season to the New York Rangers. However, Kings fans would quickly find another hero to cheer for as Luc Robataille scored 45 goals while capturing the Calder Trophy. With a young team the Kings made into the playoffs with a 31-41-8 record, finishing in fourth place. However, it would be another quick exit as the Kings are beaten by the Edmonton Oilers in five games.
1987/88: Despite a 30-42-8 record the Kings make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs the Kings would make a quick exit as they are toasted by the Calgary Flames in five games. However, the big news would come a few months after the season when Owner Bruce McNall would off the hockey deal of the century, acquiring Wayne Gretzky in a multiplayer deal from the Edmonton Oilers.
1988/89: After two decades of toiling in relative anonymity the city of Los Angeles finally had to take notice at the Kings, who had the greatest player in NHL history, Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky would make an immediate impact winning the Hart Trophy while leading the Kings with a 42-31-7 record good enough for second place. In the playoffs Gretzky who had won the All-Star Game MVP in his return to Edmonton came back to haunt his former team again as the Kings overcame a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Oilers in seven games. However, in the Smythe Division Finals the Kings past goaltending problems would rise again as they are swept by the Calgary Flames allowing 22 goals in four games.
1989/90: Wayne Gretzky would get the season started off right as he made history in Edmonton again passing his boyhood idol Gordie Howe with his 1,851st point on October 15th. Gretzky would go on to lead the NHL in scoring with 40 goals and 102 assists. However the Kings would have to settle for fourth place with a record of 34-39-7, while allowing 337 goals. However, in the playoffs the Kings would explode scoring 12 goals in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead over the Calgary Flames. After dropping Game 5 in Calgary the Kings would advance to the Smythe Finals with an overtime win at the Forum. However, for the second straight year the Kings would be let down by their goaltending as they allow 24 goals while being swept by the Edmonton Oilers in four straight games.
1990/91: The Kings win their first ever division title posting a solid record of 46-24-10 as Wayne Gretzky captures another scoring title with 122 assists. In the playoffs the Kings would beat the Vancouver Canucks in six games setting up a Smythe Final rematch with the Edmonton Oilers. However, once again the Kings would fall losing in six games in a series that saw 4 games go to overtime.
1991/92: The Kings are unable to repeat as Division Champions posting a 35-31-14 record while finishing in second place. In the playoffs the Kings would be knocked off by the Edmonton Oilers again this time falling in the first round in six games.
1992/93: Despite missing Wayne Gretzky for the first half of the season due to a back injury the Kings are able to make in into the playoffs by finishing in third place with a record of 39-35-10. Wayne Gretzky began to get healthy as the playoffs began and by only playing 48 games, he was fresh. In the first round the Kings would extinguish the Calgary Flames in six games scoring 33 goals including nine in each of the final two games. In the Smythe Finals the Kings stayed red hot as they beat the Vancouver Canucks in 6 games, scoring 26 goals. Facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Campbell Conference Finals the Kings finally slowed down as they fell behind three games to two. Facing elimination in Game 6 Wayne Gretzky sent the series to a decisive seventh game with a power play goal in overtime. In Game 7 in Toronto, Gretzky carried the Kings on to the Finals with a hat trick as the Kings beat the Leafs 5-4. In their first finals appearance the Kings appeared to be heading for hockey immortality on the Stanley Cup as they won Game 1 in Montreal and led the Canadiens 2-1 late in the 3rd period of Game 2. However, the Habs facing a 0-2-deficit gambled that Marty McSorley’s blade had too much curve and challenged his stick. McSorley’s blade was in fact too curved and the Habs would tie the game on the ensuing power play and tie the series in Overtime. As the series shifted to LA the Habs would continue their overtime magic winning Game 3 and Game 4 in Overtime before knocking off the disheartened Kings 4-1 in Game 5.
1993/94: After their heartbreaking loss in the Stanley Cup Finals the Kings struggled all season, missing the playoffs while finishing in fifth place with a disappointing record of 27-45-12. Making matters worse their record was even worse than the expansion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. However, the season was not without a great moment form The Great One as Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe’s career goals scored record on March 23rd in front of a full house at the Forum.
1994/95: Owner Bruce McNall who was once the toast of Los Angeles is forced to sell the team as his once great financial empire was now in ruin, as he even faced fraud charges, for which he would later serve four years in Federal Prison. In a season shortened by a lockout the Kings would fall one point short of the playoffs as they finished in fourth place with a record of 16-23-9.
1995/96: While the Kings were during their third straight season without making the playoffs with a 24-40-18 record, the Wayne Gretzky era in Los Angeles comes to an end as he is traded late in the season to the St. Louis Blues. In his eight years in LA, Gretzky had opened the NHL to new markets in the Southern United States, while leading to a new era of expansion. When Gretzky was traded to the Kings there were 21 teams in the NHL, only one of which was in the Sunbelt. When Gretzky was traded to St. Louis there were 26 teams, five of which were in the Sunbelt. Over the next five years that number would grow to 30 NHL teams in which nine of which were in the Southern US.
1996/97: Without Wayne Gretzky the Kings would continue to struggle as they finished in sixth place with a miserable record of 28-43-11 record.
1997/98: The Kings welcomed back Luc Robataile as they returned to the playoffs with a second place record of 38-33-11, led by a stellar season from Rob Blake who won the Norris Trophy. However, in the playoffs it would be a quick exit as the Kings are swept in four straight games by the St. Louis Blues.
1998/99: In the final season of hockey at the Great Western Forum the Kings end up finishing in last place with a disappointing record of 32-45-5, missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.
1999/00: The Kings entered a new Millennium with a new state of the art arena in the Staples Center. In their first year at the shimmering new arena the Kings would finish in second place with a solid 39-31-12-4 record. However, it would be another quick exit as they are swept by the Detroit Red Wings in four straight games.
2000/01: Faced with losing Rob Blake to free agency the Kings trade their star defenseman to the Colorado Avalanche for Adam Deadmarsh. Deadmarsh would provide a spark for the Kings as they made the playoffs by finishing in third place with a record of 38-28-12-3. In the playoffs the Kings appeared to be heading for another quick exit as they dropped their first two games to the Detroit Red Wings. However, the Kings would rally to win the next four games to win their first playoff series in eight years. Facing the Avalanche in the second Round the Kings would give Rob Blake’s new team all they could handle rallying from a 3-1 deficit to force a seventh game, before the Avalanche rallied to win the final two games and eliminate the Kings. Blake and the Avalanche would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
2001/02: Just as training camp is starting the Kings are affected personally by the horrors of September 11th when Director of Scouting Garnett “Ace” Bailey and Scout Mark Bavis are among those killed when United Flight 175 which they were taking from Boston to Los Angeles is hijacked and ran into the World Trade Center. Playing the season in tribute to their two 9/11 victims the Kings post a solid 40-27-11-4 record, but can only secure the 7th seed and are forced to face the Colorado Avalanche in the first round. The Kings appeared to be overmatched as they fell behind three games to one. However, goalie Felix Potvin would keep the Kings alive with a 1-0 overtime win in Game 5. Potivn would continue to frustrate the Avalanche in Game 6 as the Kings forced a seventh game with a 3-1 win at the Staples Center. However, in Game 7 the Kings would be the ones who were frustrated as they were blanked 4-0 in Colorado.
2002/03: After three straight playoff appearances the Kings are ravaged by injuries as several key players miss significant time due to injury as top Center Jason Allison appeared in just 26 games, while Winger Adam Deadmarsh was limited to just 20. In total 536 man games were lost to injury a franchise high as the Kings struggled to finish in third place with a disappointing record of 33-37-6-6, leaving the Kings out of the playoffs.
2003/04: Injuries were problematic from the start of the season as Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh were unable to return from the lingering effects of concussions. Despite the loss of manpower the Kings managed to hang tough through the first half of the season as they held a 21-14-11-5 record at the All-Star Break. However, as the season wore on the injuries continued to mount as Goalie Roman Cechmanek missed two long stretches due to a groin injury, while Zigmund Palffy was lost for the entire second half after shoulder surgery. The mounting injuries would eventually be too much to overcome for the Kings who missed the playoffs for a second straight season with a mediocre 28-29-16-9 record. One bright spot for the Kings was the return of Luc Robitaille who in his third tenure with the Kings led the team in scoring with 51 points.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Coming out of the lock out the Kings looked to be one of the more improved teams in the league as they were able to acquire players like Valeri Bure, Jeremy Roenick, Pavol Demitra, and Goalie Mathieu Garon, as they got off to a solid 15-6-1 start. The Kings continued to play good into the start of the New Year winning their first two games in January to sit at 27-14-2. However, it would all go downhill quickly from there as injuries and struggles to the new players the Kings were counting on overwhelmed them as they won just four of their next 18 games heading into the Olympic Break. After the Olympics in Torinio the Kings continued to struggle as they acquired Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline. When that did not work the Kings would change coaches replacing Andy Murray John Torchetti. However, all the Kings scorers could not get back on their early season roll, as they missed the playoffs for a third straight season with a record of 42-35-5, while Luc Robitaille ended his brilliant 20-year career with 15 more goals ending his career with 668 goals most of which came with the Kings in three separate tenures in LA.
2006/07: With the hopes of getting back into the playoffs the Kings hired Marc Crawford, a coach with a Stanley Cup resume. However, when the season started it was clear the Kings, had a long way to go to build a team good enough for Crawford to lead, as they got off to a terrible, winning just five of their first 19 games. One move that did not work out was the acquisition of Goalie Dan Cloutier as won just six games with a 3.98 GAA. Goaltending would be a problem all season for the Kings, as injuries and poor play led to five different goalies seeing time in the net, and they ranged from the unproven Yutaka Fukufuji who became the first Japanese born player to play in the NHL to the washed up veteran Sean Burke who was in his 20th season in the NHL. None of them worked out as the Kings were never a factor in the playoff chase as they landed in fourth place in the loaded Pacific Division with a disappointing record of 27-41-14.
2007/08: England was not stranger to Kings, but for the Los Angeles Kings it was a whole new world as they began the season facing the defending Stanley Cup Champions Anaheim Ducks in first regular season games played in Europe. The Kings would take the opener at O2 Arena with Goalie Jonathan Bernier having a successful debut, making 26 saves in a 4-1 win. The Ducks would recover to win the second game. When the Kings returned to Los Angeles Bernier struggled and was returned to his team Junior Hockey team in the QMJHL, as the Kings lost their first four games in North America. The Kings would win four in a row, as they closed October with a 6-7-0 record. After a mediocre November the Kings stumbled in December, suffering an eight game losing streak as they entered the New Year in last place with a record of 14-24-2. The struggles continued into January as the Kings continued to play sub .500 hockey. The Kings would go on to finish with the second worst record overall in the NHL as they posted a 32-43-7 record. Following the season the Kings would fire Coach Marc Crawford, and replace him with Terry Murray.
2008/09: With an eye on the future the Kings named 23-year-old Dustin Brown as their new captain, as they entered the season with a Terry Murray behind the bench. While the season saw the Kings miss the playoffs again with a 34-37-11 record, the young Kings made some strides, as remained in the playoff hunt for most of the season, while playing in 43 games decided by one goal. Leading to the improvement were key contributions by several young players including Drew Doughty, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, who led the team in ice time and blocked shots, while being named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Also emerging for the Kings was Jonathan Quick who took over as starting goalie and posted a 21-18-2 record after starting the season in the AHL with Manchester.
2009/10: With Jonathan Quick firmly established as the starting goalie, the Kings looked to make a big step forward as the season began as they acquired veteran Winger Ryan Smyth in the off-season from the Colorado Avalanche to help boost the offense. The Kings showed some good signs early in the season as they posted a 17-10-3 record in their first 30 games. Despite a December slump the Kings were still skating strong as the New Year began. As January turned into February the Kings made a move to secure a playoff spot as they went on a nine game winning streak, which included tough road wins against the Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins. With five players in the Olympics, the Kings held a 37-20-4 record at the break. When play resumed in March the Kings went through a slump as they posted a mediocre 6-7-2 record. However, with a 46-27-9 record the Kings would top 100 points and end their eight year playoff drought. In the playoffs they faced the Vancouver Canucks and lost a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker in the opener. In Game 2 the Kings would win 3-2 in overtime on a power play goal by Anze Kopitar. As the series shifted to L.A. the Kings took control of the series with a 5-3 win, as Drew Doughty led the way with a goal and three assists. However, the Canucks would take over the rest of the series winning the next three games to take the series in six games.
2010/11: After ending an eight year playoff drought, the Kings looked to take the next step and become a factor in the race for the Stanley Cup. The Kings would start the season against the Vancouver Canucks who eliminated them in the playoffs, beating them 2-1 in a shootout on the road. After a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames, the Kings would win their home opener 3-1 over the Atlanta Thrashers. The Kings would get off to a strong start, winning 12 of their first 15 games. However, they would lose seven of their next eight games to end November, with a record of 13-10-0. With a strong record at home, the Kings would rebound to win nine games in December, as they acquired Marco Sturm from the Boston Bruins. However, as the New Year began the Kings would go into another slump, losing 10 of 12 games. Needing a strong finish to get back into the playoffs, the Kings landed Dustin Penner in a trade from the Edmonton Oilers for Colten Teubert and two draft picks. Even as the Kings made the deal, they were on the rise again, posting a solid 8-2-3 record in February. The Kings would play just as strong in March, posting a 9-3-2 record, as they went on to make the playoffs for a second straight season with a record of 46-30-6. With the seventh seed the Kings would face the San Jose Sharks in the first round. The opener would go to overtime, as the Sharks won 3-2 on a goal by Joe Pavelski. Game 2 would be all Kings, as Drew Doughty had two goals and two assists, while Jonathan Quick stopped all 34 shots in a 4-0 win. As the series shifted to the Staples Center, the Kings looked to seize control as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Game 3. However, the Sharks quickly came back with five goals in the second period. The game would go to overtime tied 5-5 after a scoreless third period. In overtime the Sharks would strike again, as Devin Setoguchi netted the game winner. After the Sharks won 6-3 in Game 4, the Kings would face elimination in San Jose. With Jonathan Quick stopping 51 of 52 shots, the Kings survived Game 5 winning 3-1. However, back home the Kings would suffer another overtime loss as the Sharks won 4-3 on a goal by Joe Thornton to end the series in six games.
2011/12: The Kings had a busy off-season, as they looked to add scoring by dealing Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a 2012 second round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for Mike Richards and prospect Rob Bordson. The Kings also added Free Agent Simon Gagne from the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Colin Fraser who was acquired for Ryan Smyth in a deal with the Edmonton Oilers. The Kings would start the season in Europe, beating the New York Rangers 3-2 on a goal by Jack Johnson in overtime at Stockholm, Sweden before suffering a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in Berlin, Germany. Following a 2-1 shootout loss against the New Jersey Devils in their return to America, Mike Richards helped led the way as the Kings beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on another OT goal from Johnson. The Kings would then score a 5-0 win over the St. Louis Blues in their home opener, as they won five of their first seven games. However, over the next six weeks, the Kings would play lackluster hockey as their new offensive additions were not living up to expectations. Following a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on December 10th, the Kings during a five game losing streak fired Coach Terry Murray as they held a record of 13-12-4. The Kings would split four games with interim Coach John Stevens, before hiring Darryl Sutter on December 20th. The hiring of Sutter gave the Kings an instant spark, as they won four and lost two games after regulation as they went into the New Year with a record of 19-14-6. However, in January and February the Kings continued to suffer from a lack of goals, posting a record of 10-10-6. Hoping one more goal scorer would be the answer, the Kings sent Jack Johnson and first round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jeff Carter. Carter had once played with the Flyers along with Richards and Gagne. As March arrived the Kings finally got on a roll, as won 10 of 15 games and began to move up the standings, finding themselves in a mad four team scramble for the Pacific Division Championship. The winner would get the third seed, while two runners up would settle for the seventh and eighth seed, as the fourth place team would be the odd man out. Despite their strong finish, the Kings would lose out on the division title to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Kings would than go into the final two games of the season against the San Jose Sharks with the seventh spot on the line. Both games would be tied at the end of regulation, but the Kings would lose one a shootout and the other in overtime as they got the eighth spot with a record of 40-27-15. The three Flyers the Kings added did not quite live up to expectations as injuries limited Gagne to 34 games and just seven goals, while Mike Richards had just 18 goals and 26 assists. Meanwhile, Jeff Carter had six goals in 16 games after being acquired on February 23rd, as Anze Kopitar was the team’s leading scorer with 76 points. Their MVP was Goalie Jonathan Quick who continued to emerge as a superstar, with a 1.95 GAA.
2012 Playoffs: Getting the eighth seed, meant the Kings would start the playoffs against one of the very best teams in the NHL. Their first draw would be the Vancouver Canucks, who for the second straight season finished with the best record in the regular season. Things would start well for the Kings, as they scored a 4-2 win in Game 1, as Mike Richards had a goal and two assists. They would also get a 4-2 win in Game 2, as Jonathan Quick frustrated the Canucks by stopping 46 of 48 shots. Quick again was on the draw in Game 3, as the series shifted to the Staples Center, stopping 41 shots, as the Kings won the game 1-0 on a goal by Dustin Brown to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Following a 3-1 loss in Game 4 at home, the Kings closed out the series with a 2-1 overtime on a Jarrett Stoll goal win to complete the upset. As the eighth seed the Kings would not have an easy road, as they next face the St. Louis Blues, who were also one of the best teams in the NHL. Once again, the Kings would start the series with a win, as they won 3-1 with Quick stopping 28 of 29 shots in Game 1. In Game 2, the Kings would get three big assists from Dustin Brown to win 5-2 as they went to L.A. again up two games to none. With two goals wins in Game 3 and Game 4 the Kings would sweep away the Blues, and advance to the Conference Finals for just the third time in franchise history. In the Western Conference Finals the Kings would face the Phoenix Coyotes in a battle of downtrodden franchises looking for their first taste of victory. As they had in the first two rounds, the Kings would start the series with a road win, as Dustin Brown led the way with a goal and an assist. The Kings would continue their road dominance in Game 2, as they won 4-0 to again return to Staples up 2-0 in the series. For the third straight series the Kings would also take a 3-0 series lead, as they limited the Coyotes to 19 shots in a 2-1 win, as Dwight King scored the game winner with 1:47 left in regulation. The Coyotes would get a big effort from Mike Smith in Game 4, as he stopped all 36 shots in a 2-0 win to advert the sweep. However, the Kings would win their eighth straight game on the road in overtime 4-3 on a goal by Dustin Penner to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in five games.
2012 Stanley Cup Finals: In the Stanley Cup Finals for just the second time the Kings were matched up against the New Jersey Devils. The main attraction was a matchup of goalies, as the Kings rising star Jonathan Quick took on the all-time wins and shutout leader Martin Brodeur. Game 1 would have plenty of nerves for both teams as the Kings struck first on a goal by Colin Fraser. The Devils would answer back as they game went into overtime. In overtime the Kings would get the win on a breakaway goal by Anze Kopitar. Game 2 would be nearly the same, as the Kings and Devils went into overtime tied 1-1, with Jonathan Quick having a stellar game. Once again, the Kings would win, on a goal by Jeff Carter setting a record for ten straight road wins in the playoffs. The Stanley Cup Finals would take on the same pattern as the rest of the postseason, as the Kings took a 3-0 lead, winning 4-0 in Game 3 as the Kings broke the game open with two power play goals. With an air of anticipation for a Stanley Cup party, the Kings would suffer a letdown in Game 4, as the Devils sent the series back to Newark, with a 3-1 win, after the game was scoreless through the first two periods. The Devils would also win Game 5 by a score of 2-1, as the Kings for the first time lost two games in a series and had pressure on their own backs. However, in Game 6 the Kings took advantage of a five minute major boarding penalty on Steve Bernier against Rob Scuderi and broke the game open early with three goals and cruised to a 6-1 win to claim their first ever Stanley Cup Championship. The playoffs marked the full arrival of Jonathan Quick as he won the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP, with a microscopic 1.41 GAA, and a .946 save percentage. To reward Quick, the Kings were without pause in signing their star goalie to a ten year contract extension. Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar led the team in scoring with 20 points apiece, each scoring eight goals, to lead Kings balanced scoring attack along with Jeff Carter.
2012/13: After capturing the Stanley Cup, the Kings chance to defend their crown was delayed, as a lockout wiped out the first half of the season. When the season finally began on January 19th, the Kings banner raising celebration was spoiled by the Chicago Blackhawks as they suffered a 5-2 loss at Staples Center. The Kings would get off to a slow start, winning just three of their first ten games. The Kings would play most of their early games on the road, and would not earn their first home win until beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on February 15th. As February came to an end, the Kings would get their season on track, as they won seven of eight and climbed above .500. In the second half of the season the Kings established a new home ice advantage as they won their last nine games of the regular season at Staples Center, finishing the season with the fifth seed in the Western Conference, while holding a record of 27-16-5. In his first full season with the Kings, Jeff Carter led the team with 26 goals, while Anze Kopitar had a team high 42 points, thanks to 32 assists.
2013 Playoffs: All season it felt like the regular season was a warmup for the playoffs as the Los Angeles Kings attempted to win a second straight dance with the Stanley Cup. A year earlier they had won as the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a sub .500 regular season. The fifth seed would mean another tough road to the cup, but in the NHL Playoffs not even the top seed is a cake walk. Facing the St. Louis Blues in the first round, the Kings found themselves in a tight low scoring contest as the opener went into overtime tied 1-1 after Justin Williams tied the game with 31.6 seconds left in regulation. The Kings appeared to get a big advantage with a four minute power play, but Goalie Jonathan Quick who had 40 saves misplayed the puck allowing Alexander Steen to score a shorthanded goal, which gave the Blues a 2-1 win. Game 2 would bring more frustration to the Kings, as Barrett Jackman’s goal with 51 seconds left gave the Blues a second straight 2-1 win. Desperately needing a win in Game 3 as the series shifted to Los Angeles, Jonathan Quick was at the top of his game, stopping all 30 shots as the Kings won 1-0, on a second period goal by Slava Voynov. Trailing 3-2, entering the third period of Game 4, the Kings got goals by Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams to win the game 4-3 and even the series at two games apiece. Back in St. Louis for Game 5, the Kings saw the Blues score another late third period goal to force overtime. However, this time with Voynov beating Brian Elliott the Kings were the ones who seized control of the series with a 3-2 win. With the score tied late in the second period in Game 6, Dustin Penner put the Kings in front with a goal with just 0.2 seconds left in period. With Jonathan Quick stopping 21 of 22 shots the 2-1 lead would stand as the Kings advanced to the second round. The second round would be a battle of Northern and Southern California as the Kings faced the San Jose Sharks. Jonathan Quick was the star of the opener, stopping all 35 shots as the Kings won 2-0. Trailing 3-2 in Game 2, the Kings took advantage of the Sharks lack of discipline scoring two power play goals within 22 seconds during the game’s final two minutes for a 4-3. Quick had another stellar game, as the series shifted to San Jose for Game 3, with 38 saves. However, the Sharks would win the game 2-1 in overtime with a goal by Logan Couture. The Kings would suffer another 2-1 loss in Game 4 as the Sharks evened the series. However, the Kings continued to be Masters of their Domain at the Staple Center, winning 3-0 in Game 5. However, the Sharks would battle back with another 2-1 win in San Jose as the series went the full seven games. Back at Staples Center, the Kings got a pair of goals by Justin Williams and another solid effort by Jonathan Quick to win 2-1 and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Facing the Chicago Blackhawks, the Kings road woes continued as they lost the first two games at United Center. However, the Kings continued to play well at home, winning 3-1 in Game 3. With 17 straight home wins, the Kings looked to even the series in Game 4. However, Marian Hossa put the Blackhawks up 3-2 early in the third period, as the Blackhawks defense smothered the Kings for a 3-2 win. With their reign nearing an end, the Kings trailed 3-2 late in Game 5, when Mike Richards tied the game with ten seconds left. The Kings would battle valiantly into double overtime, but a second straight Stanley Cup was not in the cards, as the Blackhawks won the game 4-3, as Patrick Kane scored the game winner.
2013/14: After having their title reign in the Western Conference Finals, the Kings began the season by splitting their first two games on the road. Despite losing to the New York Rangers 3-1 in their home opener, the Los Angeles Kings had a solid October, with a 9-5-0 record. Despite missing Jonathan Quick for most of November due to a lower body injury, the Kings kept their pace as Ben Scrivens played well in his place. Quick remained out through December, as Rookie Martin Jones was given a chance to prove himself in goal. Jones made his debut on December 3rd in a 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks. Four days later he would earn his first shutout win as the Kings blanked the New York Islanders 3-0 at Staples Center. The play of Jones would eventually lead the Kings to trade Ben Scrivens to the Edmonton Oilers. As the New Year began, the Kings were in a slump losing five games in a row in regulation. The streak would end on January 4th as Jonathan Quick returned in a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Despite the return of Quick, the Kings slump continued in January as they posted a 5-8-2 record. One of the losses came on January 25th at Dodger Stadium as they were blanked by the Ducks in the first outdoor game in California. The Kings would lose their first two games in February but won three straight games as the NHL season paused for the Winter Olympics. As the season resumed in March, the Kings looked to add some offense, so they acquire Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 5th, sending Matt Frattin and two draft picks in return. Gabork played well with five goals and 11 assists in 19 games. The Kings had their finest month in March, posting a record of 11-4-0, while winning all six games on the road. The Kings would go on to finish the season with a record of 46-28-8, grabbing one of the Pacific Division’s three automatic playoff spots.
2014 Playoffs: Facing the San Jose Sharks in the first round the Kings looked like they were heading for a quick exit as they were dominated in the first two games, losing 6-3 and 7-2 as they were outclassed in every way imaginable. Things did not get much better for the Kings in Game 3 at Staples Center as they lost in overtime 4-3 on a goal by Patrick Marleau. Only three teams before had rallied to win a seven game series after losing the first three games, and the way the Kings have been embarrassed it seemed they were just playing for pride when they picked up a 6-3 win in Game 4. Pride became hope in Game 5 when the Kings again prevented the Sharks from closing out the series with a 3-0 win as Jonathan Quick who had been shaky in the first four games stopped all 30 shots. The Kings continued their comeback with a 4-1 win in Game 6, as Anze Kopitar broke a 1-1 tie with two goals an assist in less than three minutes during the third period. The Kings would complete the comeback with a 5-1 win in Game 7, as they scored five answered goals after the Sharks took a 1-0 lead early in the second period, as Jonathan Quick made 39 saves. After their comeback against the Sharks, the Kings would face another big rival in the Pacific Division Finals. This time they would battle the Anaheim Ducks. The Kings continued the momentum of their comeback by winning the first two games of the series in Anaheim. In the opener, the Kings trailed 2-1 late in the third period, when Marian Gaborik tied the game with seven second left by knocking home a rebound of a Mike Richards shot. Gaborik would also get the game winner in overtime. In Game 2 it was Jonathan Quick playing the hero role, stopping 36 of 37 shots in a 3-1 win. However, when the series moved to Staples Center, the Ducks turned the tables winning Games 3 & 4 with John Gibson frustrating the Kings with a 2-0 shutout win in Game 4. The Ducks would take control of the series with a 4-3 win in Game 5 as the Kings comeback led by Gaborik fell just short. Facing elimination, the Kings got a big game from Quick as they evened the series at home with a 2-1 win. In another Game 7 on the road, the Kings would once again break the game open early with three first period goals on the way to a 6-2 win to reach the Western Conference Finals for a third straight season. The Conference Finals would see the Kings draw a rematch with the Chicago Blackhawks. After dropping the opener 3-1, the Kings evened the series with a 6-2 win in Game 2, as Jeff Carter scored three goals in a five goal third period outburst. As the series shifted to LA, Carter had another big game, with a goal and two assists to lead the Kings to a 4-3 win at Staples Center. The Kings would take a 3-1 series lead, with a 5-2 win in Game 4. However, with a chance to close out the series the Kings suffered a 5-4 loss in Double Overtime. The Kings would also drop Game 6 at home; as Patrick Kane scored twice in the third period to lead the Blackhawks to a 4-3 win. In Game 7, the Kings were in an early hole as the Blackhawks scored twice in the first ten minutes, the Kings would respond with two goals in 51 seconds. However, the Blackhawks answered 12 seconds later to regain the lead. The Kings would even the score again in the second period, only to see Chicago take a 4-3 lead in the third period. Turning on the pressure, L A got a game tying goal by Marian Gaborik with just over seven minutes left in regulation. The game would go to overtime, with Alec Martinez scoring at 5:47 of overtime to send the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals with a 5-4 win.
2014 Stanley Cup Finals: The Kings would face the New York Rangers in the Finals, and early on looked tired as the Rangers took a 2-0 in Game 1. The Rangers dominated the early part of Game 1, but the Kings managed to hang in the game and turn things around and tie things up. The Kings had regained their legs in the third period, but were unable to get one past Henrik Lundqvist, despite a 20-3 shot advantage. With the scored tied 2-2 in overtime, the Kings finally got the game winner on Justin Williams’s eighth goal of the playoffs. In Game 2, the Rangers again got off to a fast start, with two early goals. In the second period each team would score twice, as the Kings remained two goals behind. Once again, the Kings would dominate the third period, outshooting the Rangers 12-7 as they got goals from Dwight King and Marian Gaborik to even the score. After a scoreless overtime period, the Kings would get a second overtime win in the Finals on a goal by Dustin Brown at the 10:26 mark. After the series shifted to New York, the Kings finally drew first blood as Jeff Carter scored with one second left in the first period to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. The Kings would add goals from Jake Muzzin and Mike Richards in the second period as Jonathan Quick made 32 saves in a 3-0 win. Looking for the sweep the Kings fell behind 2-0 again, and tried another comeback with Dustin Brown scoring in the second period. Over the last 30 minutes of the game the Kings threw everything the head at Henrik Lundqvist, including a 15-1 shot advantage in the third period. However, the Rangers held on to win the game 2-1. Back at home in Game 5, the Kings again trailed 2-1 in the third period. This time they were able to get the equalizer as Marian Gaborik scored a power play goal with 7:56 left. Gaborik a late season pick up was key to the Kings Playoff success with an NHL leading 14 playoff goals. The Kings would control most of the ice in overtime, but Lundqvist kept the Rangers in the game. Finally with 5:17 left in double overtime Alec Martinez tucked home a rebound off a Tyler Toffoli shot to bring the Kings their second Stanley Cup Championship in three years with a 3-2 win. Justin Williams, who had nine goals and 15 assists, along with points in all three seventh games the Kings played in would take home the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.
2014/15: Coming off their second Stanley Cup Championship in three years, the Los Angeles Kings were the team to beat in the Western Conference. The San Jose Sharks would spoil the party as the Kings raised the championship banner winning 4-0 at Staples Center in the season opener. The Kings would drop their first two games, but quickly got on track with six straight wins. However, before October came to an end troubles began to plague the Kings off the ice as Slava Voynov a key defenseman in the Kings Championship runs was suspended indefinitely following an arrest for domestic violence. Voynov would play just six games and miss the rest of the season, before pleading guilty and being deported to Russia. After the suspension of Voynov the Kings managed to play mediocre hockey over the next two months, as they held an 18-12-8 record entering the New Year. January would only bring more frustration for the Kings, who had trouble staying in playoff position, posting a record of 3-4-4. Among the disappointing players was Mike Richards who had just five goals in 53 games before being demoted to the AHL at the end of January. With the Kings enduring long scoring droughts, and playing mediocre hockey all season, it appeared they finally found their groove in February as they marched on an eight game winning streak. Highlighting the streak was a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on February 21st in a game played outdoors in Levi’s Stadium before 70,205 fans in Santa Clara. The Kings would get the game winning goal from Marian Gaborik. Gaborik would among the top scoring players on the goal with 27 goals. Jeff Carter would lead the Kings with 28 goals, while Anze Kopitar led the Kings in scoring with 64 points. It would not be enough as the Kings all season seemed to come up just short, when the year was over the Kings would fall two points short of reaching the playoffs with a record of 40-27-15. The Kings became the first reigning Stanley Cup Champion to miss the playoffs in nine years, as a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames in the next to last game of the season sealed their fate. Despite the Kings disappointing finish, Jonathan quick had another solid season posting a record of 36-22-13, with a 2.24 GAA.
2015/16: After missing the playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings looked to rebound and once again be one of the top Stanley Cup contenders in the Western Conference. The Kings would make a change in leadership on the ice as Anze Kopitar succeeded Dustin Brown as team captain. One big addition the Kings made in the off-season was acquiring Milan Lucic from the Boston Bruins. Lucic was key cog in the Kings offense all season collecting 55 points with 354 assists to rank among the team leaders. Despite having their first five games at Staples Center, the Kings stumbled out of the gate losing their first three games by a combined score of 12-2. The Kings would get a 2-1 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild and began to turn things around as they won their next seven games to finish October with a record of 7-3-0. After a mediocre November, the Kings had a strong month of December, starting the season on a six game winning streak and carrying a five game winning streak into January. Despite standing in first place with a record of 25-12-2 on January 6th, the Kings were looking for offense as they acquired Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers for Jordan Weal and a third round draft pick. Both Lecavalier and Schenn struggled in Los Angeles totaling just 28 points combined in the season’s second half. Holding a 37-24-1 mark at the end of February, the Kings re-acquired Rod Scuderi, sending Christian Ehrhoff to the Chicago Blackhawks in return. The Kings also would acquire Kris Versteeg and Brett Sutter, son of Coach Darryl Sutter at the trade deadline. The Kings came into March like a lion, winning seven of nine, but went out like lamb, suffering winning just two of their next eight games. The late March slump would cost them a division title as they finished just one point behind the Anaheim Ducks, with a record of 48-28-6. It was a special season for Anze Kopitar, who led the Kings in scoring with 74 points. Kopitar who also scored 25 goals would win the Selke Trophy given to the best defensive forward in the NHL as well as the Lady Byng Award given to the player who best demonstrates gentlemanly play. The Kings also had the best defenseman in the NHL as Drew Doughty took home the Norris Trophy.
2016 Playoffs: The Los Angeles Kings would face a familiar rival in the first round as they took on the San Jose Sharks. Game 1 at Staples Center would be a back and forth battle, as the teams traded goals for the first two periods. With the score tied 3-3, the Sharks jumped in front on an early third period goal from Joe Pavelski. That would be enough for San Jose as the Sharks won the opener 4-3. The Kings would be further frustrated by Martin Jones in Game 2, Jones who served as Jonathan Quick’s backup for two seasons was traded to the Boston Bruins for Milan Lucic and quickly sent on to the Sharks. Jones would keep the Kings off the board until, Vincent Lecavalier scored on the power play with five minutes left. However, it was not enough as the Sharks won 2-1. As the series shifted to San Jose, the Kings finally broke through win a 2-1 overtime win in Game 3, as Tanner Pearson scored the game winner at 3:47. The Sharks though would bounce back with three power play goals to deliver a 3-2 win in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. Back at Staples Center for Game 5, the Kings found themselves down 3-0 early in the second period facing elimination. The Kings would come roaring back scoring three goals in nine minutes to tie the game. The Sharks though would respond scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to win the game 6-3 and eliminate the Kings in five games.
2016/17: After disappointing showing in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings looked to rebound and return to the elite in the NHL. Early in the season, the Kings were quite streaky as they alternated between winning streaks and losing streaks as they went into the New Year with a record of 18-15-4. A big factor in the Kings inability to win with consistency was an injury to goalie Jonathan Quick who missed four and half months. The Staples Center played host to the All-Star Game, with former King Wayne Simmonds now playing with the Philadelphia Flyers taking home MVP honors. The Kings were during a winning streak as February began, but as with every winning streak all season it was followed up by a losing streak. Looking for some veteran leadership down the stretch the Kings picked up Jarome Iginla at the trade deadline. The trade did help boost the Kings, as the continued to thread the waters of mediocrity even with the return of Quick. The Kings would miss the playoffs for the second time in three years, posting a record of 39-35-8. Jeff Carter was the Kings leading scorer with 66 points, also leading in goals with 32, while Anze Kopitar had a team best 40 assists. Following the season, the Kings would fire Coach Darryl Sutter, ending a six-year tenure that saw Los Angeles win the Stanley Cup twice.
2017/18: Under new coach John Stephens, the Los Angeles Kings got off to a terrific start, posting a record of 9-1-1 over their first 11 games. The Kings were unable to keep up their torrid early pace, as they hit a slump in November. However, they were able to get back on track in December and went into the New Year at 23-11-5. Hard times arrived in January, as Los Angeles suffered a six-game losing streak. Looking to sure up their defense, the Kings acquired Dion Phaneuf along with Nate Thompson from the Ottawa Senators Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore in return. The Kings would play winning hockey over the final three months. Despite the second-half struggles, the Kings would hold on to one of two wild-card spots in the Western Conference, making the playoffs with a record of 45-29-8. Anze Kopitar was the Kings’ leading scorer with 92 points and team-best 35 goals. In addition, Kopitar’s +21 enabled him to win the Selker Trophy for the second time in three years. Drew Doughty also had a big season with 500 assists.
2018 Playoffs: In the postseason, the Los Angeles Kings faced the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, setting up a new rivalry. The opener was a tight defensive battle, with Vegas winning 1-0 on an early goal by Shea Theodore. Game 2 was also a great defensive showdown, as Jonathan Quick made 54 saves, but it was not enough as the Knights won 2-1 in double overtime on a goal by Erik Haula. As the series shifted to Staples Center, the Kings held a 1-0 lead after two periods, but again lost tight battle 3-2, as Vegas turned the game in their favor with two goals in 21 seconds. The Golden Knights would go on to complete the sweep with a 1-0 win.
2018/19: After their postseason letdown, the Los Angeles Kings looked to quickly get back on track. The Kings struggled early, suffering six-straight losses in October. Sitting with a 4-8-1 record on November 4th, the Kings dismissed coach John Stephens. Willie Desjardins would take over for the remainder of the season. The Kings showed signs of improvement in late December, as they won four-of-five and went into the New Year with a record of 16-21-3. In January, the Kings struggles resumed as they dropped four-of-five after the calendars changed. As the Kings’ playoff hopes faded away, they began selling off players, sending Jake Muzzin to the Toronto Maple Leafs, getting Carl Grundstrom back in return. They also sent Carl Hagelin to the Washington Capitals. Hagelin had been acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in November for Tanner Pearson. The Kings would finish with the worst record in the Western Conference at 31-42-9. In a season of down years across the board, Anze Kopitar was the leading scorer for Los Angeles with 22 goals and 38 assists.
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Page created on Page created on February 10, 2003. Last updated onMarch 23, 2020, at 11:11 pm ET.