A massive street party, exuberant but primarily peaceful, erupted in downtown Los Angeles late Friday after the Kings won their second Stanley Cup in three years.
Thousands of fans — decked out in black-and-white jerseys — chanted “We Got the Cup!” and pumped their fists in glee outside Staples Center, where moments before the Kings had defeated the New York Rangers, 3-2, deep into the second overtime.
Fireworks were set off. Crowd surfing and mosh pits could be seen across LA Live.
“It was awesome,” said Jonathan Arriaza, 26, of Pomona. “Both teams were tired, both were frustrated, both goalies were great, it was just awesome.”
Los Angeles police were out in force too, on foot and on horseback. Officers blocked some streets and several offramps from the northbound 110 Freeway to keep the crowd from growing.
Two men were arrested after a scuffle outside a restaurant near Staples Center ended with one man allegedly shoving a police officer. A third person was later arrested on suspicion of public intoxication. No other significant incidents were reported.
“So far, it looks peaceful,” LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said about half an hour after the victory.
The memory of Lakers fans’ bad behavior after the team won the NBA title in 2010 was still fresh. To avoid a repeat, police warned hockey fans without tickets to stay away.
But Kings supporters nonetheless were out in full force an hour before Friday’s game began, many of them filling Chick Hearn Court and the LA Live area that was supposed to be closed off to fans.
The giant television screens that dot LA Live were turned off to discourage fans from gathering, but many of the Kings faithful peered into bars to watch the game or feverishly refreshed their smartphones to keep up with the action.
Times staff writer Larry Gordon contributed to this report.