June 11, 2012

Quick wins Conn Smythe as Kings capture Stanley Cup

By Jesse Connolly

Coming off of back-to-back losses that saw their series lead cut to a single game, the Kings’ stranglehold on the Stanley Cup finals appeared to be in jeopardy. 

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick received the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. (Getty Images)

But after exploding with three goals during a five-minute power play in the opening period of Game 6, their looming crowning as the champions of the National Hockey League was never in doubt. The Kings cruised to a 6-1 victory on Monday night at Staples Center, capturing the Cup for the first time in the franchise’s 45-year history.

Devils forward Steve Bernier was given a boarding major and a game misconduct at the 10:10 mark of the game for a hit on BC alum Rob Scuderi, leading to a five-minute power play for L.A. The Kings got goals from captain Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis to build a commanding lead.

In the second, Jeff Carter put Los Angeles up by four with his eighth of the playoffs, but a wrister from Adam Henrique with 1:15 remaining in the middle frame cut the Devils’ deficit back to three.

Henrique’s shot was the only one that got past Jonathan Quick, who stopped 17-of-18 on the night. After L.A. added two more tallies late to officially make it a blowout, the Kings mobbed Quick as the final seconds ran off the clock.

Following his scintillating postseason run, Quick had some other hardware to pick up before laying his hands on the Stanley Cup: the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. The former UMass star finished the playoffs with a 16-4 record, a minuscule 1.41 goals-against average and superb .946 save percentage, as the 26-year-old backstopped the Kings to glory.

Quick joins Brian Leetch (Rangers, 1994) and Tim Thomas (Bruins, 2011) as one of just three Americans to ever win the Conn Smythe.

After defeating the top three seeds in the Western Conference in dominating fashion, the Kings’ win in the finals over New Jersey makes them the first eighth seed to ever capture the Cup.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.