Kings are making Hollywood a hockey town again

Associated Press Modified: May 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm •  Published: May 7, 2012
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Lakers greats Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant, Dodgers stars Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan all appeared in promotional videos to pump up the Kings' crowd during the second round. "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone frequently whip out short animations for the Staples Center scoreboard in which Cartman and his buddies taunt the Kings' opponents — even running over Vancouver's Green Men with a Zamboni in the first round.

The Stanley Cup itself also spent time in Hollywood in recent weeks during its usual globetrotting tour, making visits to the sets of "Glee" and "Bones" for photos with hockey-loving actors Cory Monteith and David Boreanaz, among others.

The Kings are the reason for this puck frenzy: They're just the second team in club history to win two series in the same postseason, and they're the first to sweep a best-of-seven series. Los Angeles is the first No. 8 seed to beat the top two seeds in the same playoffs, and just the third No. 8 seed ever to get beyond the second round.

The Kings utterly dominated the Blues, who had 109 points and the NHL's third-best record in the regular season. Los Angeles only trailed for 7:42 in the entire series — and that was in the first period of Game 1.

"It's a long time, and we're really happy with what we've achieved so far, but at the same time, we're not done," said Doughty, who learned all about Los Angeles' meager playoff history while growing up as a Kings fan in Ontario. "We knew all along we had the team to do it. Right now we're playing with a ton of confidence, and every single guy is having fun and feeling part of the team. That's what you need in the playoffs."

Doughty was singled out for praise from Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, who called him the best player in the series before Game 4. The young, puck-moving defenseman who held out for his mammoth $56 million contract in the preseason led the Kings with more than 23 minutes of ice time in the clincher.

Not everything is going smoothly for the Kings. Their power play is in a 1-for-37 slump since early in the first round, failing to generate consistent scoring chances.

But with Quick in the net and Brown leading a much-improved offense, the Kings have every ingredient to keep going — and their stars will only keep growing.

"It's definitely a new thing for me," center Anze Kopitar said. "I don't think I've been excited like this for a long time. The last thing I can compare to this was probably my draft day, but this definitely tops it off because it's more, and we're still going."