This was must-see, priceless video — defenseman
His gleeful inner 8-year-old emerged and landed on the ice.
Three days later, can Doughty and the Kings pull themselves up off the ice, so to speak?
Game 1 of the
The Kings will need to avoid a letdown like others that occurred after their greatest, most emotional triumphs. They dropped the next playoff series to the Vancouver Canucks after their seminal Miracle on Manchester win in 1982 over the
In other words, fading to black after the overtime goal by
This time, the Kings have home-ice advantage. In fact, they are starting at home for only the second time in the last 23 playoff series — dating to 1992 — but Kings center
"Obviously, they're doing some really good things to be in this position," said Kopitar of the Rangers. "Now it's about to take the next step and get it done."
For three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Kings Coach
It was a neat bit of misdirection by an experienced coach, shifting the pressure from his team to its opponents. But against the Rangers, there is no such underdog card to play. The Kings are the decisive favorites.
"We don't have much concern over who is the underdog and who is the favorite," Kings center
From Las Vegas bookmakers to NHL insiders to the Twitterverse, there is a sense that the Kings' playoff pedigree ultimately will get them past a Rangers team that finished with just 96 points in the regular season and had the good fortune to play a Canadiens team missing its No. 1 goaltender,
The Kings received a scare of their own in goal during Tuesday's practice, when a shot by
There are many similarities between the two infrequent playoff foes. Each has a decorated goalie, Quick (Kings) and
The Kings needed to win three Game 7s to get to this stage; the Rangers needed two Game 7s, rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the second round against the
"It's been a pretty crazy playoff," said Kings center
"Both rooms have faced adversity," Carcillo said. "These guys, even the year they won it [in 2012], there's just no quit in that room. I've been in that room. I know the guys that are in that room.
"I look around our room and I see a lot of the same guys, a lot of the same characters. You really do need that. When you're up against the wall and you're tested. What are you going to do? Are you going to quit, or are you going to push through? All these guys have pushed through."
The Kings go into the Final with four of the top five playoff scorers, including
The Rangers traded Gaborik at the 2013 trading deadline. He landed in Columbus — and wasn't a fit there, either — before joining the Kings as a trade-deadline acquisition. Gaborik has 12 playoff goals, one more than he scored in an injury-filled 41-game regular season.
Gaborik's return against his former team is just one of the many interesting subplots in the series.
"It's a little weird, obviously, but it's something special," said Gaborik. "Going to [