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Kings’ top 10 Staples Center moments as Crypto.com era set to begin

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar gives fans an up-close look at the Stanley Cup.
Kings center Anze Kopitar gives fans an up-close look at the Stanley Cup after L.A. defeated the New Jersey Devils to claim the trophy at Staples Center on June 11, 2012.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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For the first time since it opened in 1999, the sports venue in downtown Los Angeles will have a name other than Staples Center. Starting Saturday, it will be known as Crypto.com Arena, as part of a 20-year deal between the Singapore cryptocurrency exchange and AEG.

To commemorate the end of an era, our writers have compiled their top 10 Staples Center moments for each of the teams — the Lakers, Clippers, Sparks and Kings — that call the building home.

Today: The Kings

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June 11, 2012

Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick and Colin Fraser celebrate winning the Stanley Cup on June 11, 2012.
Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick and Colin Fraser celebrate winning the Stanley Cup on June 11, 2012.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Kings won the Stanley Cup, earning their first championship since the franchise was born in 1967. They entered the playoffs as the eighth (and last) seed but lost only two games in the first three rounds and finished off the New Jersey Devils in six games in the Cup Final. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs after their Cup-clinching 6-1 victory.

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Jan. 19, 2013

The delayed raising of the Kings’ first Stanley Cup banner into the rafters at Staples Center. The 2012-13 season started later than usual because NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had locked players out while the league and the players union negotiated a new labor agreement. In their first game as defending Cup champions, the Kings lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2.

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June 13, 2014

Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup as Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist looks on.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Kings won their second Stanley Cup championship. This title run was tougher than the first: They had to erase an 0-3 deficit to beat San Jose in the first round, then rallied past the Ducks in seven games in the second round and outlasted the Blackhawks in seven games in the Western Conference final. They defeated the New York Rangers in the Final in five games, with Alec Martinez’s goal at 14:43 of the second sudden-death overtime period sparing them a trip back to New York. Justin Williams was voted the playoff MVP.

The Kings’ Stanley Cup playoff run appeared to be over before it had really begun.

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Dec. 22, 2011

Darryl Sutter made his debut as the Kings coach, five days after he was hired to replace Terry Murray. Sutter’s tough-love, defense-first approach helped the Kings take the final step to Stanley Cup contention. He won his first game behind the bench, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Ducks at Staples Center.

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Oct. 9, 2002

The Kings retired Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 and unveiled a statue of him outside the arena. The NHL had retired Gretzky’s number leaguewide in 1999, when he retired as a player, but he delayed the Kings’ plans to honor him until former team owner Bruce McNall — who had pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy — was out of prison and could attend the ceremony.

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Jan. 13, 2018

A statue honoring Kings broadcasting legend Bob Miller, with his wife Judy, is unveiled Jan. 13, 2018.
A statue honoring Kings broadcasting legend Bob Miller, with his wife Judy, is unveiled Jan. 13, 2018.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

A statue of play-by-play announcer Bob Miller was unveiled outside the arena, and a banner with his name and the image of a microphone was raised on the wall alongside the banners honoring retired players. Miller, winner of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt award in 2000, retired in 2017 after 44 years as a Kings broadcaster.

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April 18, 2001

In a game later called “The Frenzy on Figueroa,” the seventh-seeded Kings erased a three-goal deficit in the third period against the powerful, No. 2-seeded Detroit Red Wings and won in overtime on a goal by Eric Belanger. That tied their first-round playoff series at 2-2. Five days later, also at Staples Center, the Kings eliminated Detroit in six games thanks to Adam Deadmarsh’s overtime goal. However, the Kings lost to Colorado in the next round.

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March 22, 2014

Goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots by the Florida Panthers to earn his 172nd victory as a King, breaking the previous franchise record of 171 wins by a goaltender that had been set by Hall of Famer Rogie Vachon.

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Jan. 20, 2007

A statue of Luc Robitaille towers above metal framing where a Staples Center sign once hung
A statue of Luc Robitaille towers above metal framing where a Staples Center sign once hung over an entrance to the venue.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The Kings retired the No. 20 jersey of Luc Robitaille, whose scoring touch took him from being a dubious prospect (he was drafted in the ninth round in 1984) to a Hall of Fame member. He holds the NHL record for points by a left wing, 1,394. A statue of him was placed outside the arena on March 7, 2015.

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May 7, 2021

The Kings held a ceremony on ice to honor center Anze Kopitar for reaching 1,000 career points. The Slovenia native was the fourth player in franchise history to hit 1,000 points as a King, following Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Luc Robitaille.

Anze Kopitar became the 91st player in NHL history to score 1,000 points. It was fitting that he earned the milestone point on an assist.

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