Jonathan Quick was in goal during the Kings' 2-1 shootout loss to New… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
NO. 8 KINGS (40-27-15) vs. NO. 6 NEW JERSEY (48-28-6)
How long has it been since the Stanley Cup finalists, the Kings and the Devils, occupied the same ice surface?
Try seven months.
This was long before Kings Coach Darryl Sutter rolled into town in mid-December and months before Jack Johnson left and Jeff Carter arrived, reunited with his buddy Mike Richards.
New Jersey and Los Angeles met twice in the regular season, both games coming in October.
The Kings lost to the Devils, 2-1, in a shootout Oct. 13 in Newark, having just returned to the United States after starting the regular season with two games in Europe.
"That's a tough trip," said Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, referring to a sharp change in time zones. "That's a tough first game back. We got a point out of it, I remember that. Luckily, in the playoffs, we don't go to a shootout."
One of the goal scorers in that shootout against Quick was Devils star forward Zach Parise, who put on a dazzling display of stick-handling, now a YouTube highlight clip.
A day after the Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, Quick talked about Parise's worth to New Jersey.
"Zach Parise sticks out to probably anybody, even if you're not a hockey fan," Quick said Saturday. "Whenever you watch a game, you just watch the speed and the competitiveness he plays the game with. Usually, as he goes, the team goes."
Quick was not in goal when the Kings and Devils played Oct. 25 at Staples Center, a source of early-season controversy and the foreshadowing of goal-scoring woes for the Kings.
Terry Murray, then the Kings coach, opted to start Jonathan Bernier, not Quick, despite Quick's streak of three consecutive shutouts. The Devils won, 3-0, scoring all of their goals in the second period, including two goals on three shots.
Afterward, Murray was visibly miffed, a rarity, when asked if he had any regrets about the handling of the goalies. "You can dissect this whole thing any way you want," said Murray.
Top scorers (regular season)
KINGS: Anze Kopitar, 25 goals, 76 points; Justin Williams, 22 goals, 59 points; Dustin Brown, 22 goals, 54 points. Brown is the playoff leader with 16 points and seven goals in 14 games.
DEVILS: Ilya Kovalchuk, 37 goals, 83 points; Patrik Elias, 26 goals, 78 points; Zach Parise, 31 goals, 69 points. In the playoffs, Kovalchuk has seven goals and 18 points, and rookie Adam Henrique has two game-winning goals in overtime, the second coming on Friday against the New York Rangers in Game 6.
Goaltenders (regular season)
KINGS: Quick: 35-21-13, 1.95 goals-against average, .930 save percentage. Ten shutouts.
DEVILS: Martin Brodeur: 31-21-4, 2.41 goals-against average, .908 save percentage. Three shutouts.
Penalty kill (regular season)
KINGS: 87% (fourth); DEVILS 89.6% (first). The Devils had the most short-handed goals in the regular season with 15.
Power play (regular season)
KINGS: 17% (17th), DEVILS 17.2% (14th). In the playoffs, the Kings' success rate has been 8.1% and the
How they got here
KINGS: Nineteen years later, the Kings are back in the Final. Their path was wildly different from that of 1993. That year, it went only through Canada. This time, they knocked off the No. 1 seed (Vancouver Canucks), the No. 2 (St. Louis Blues) and the No. 3 (Phoenix Coyotes), going 8-0 on the road, an NHL record.
DEVILS: New Jersey has had a much tougher road to the Final, taking out Coach Peter DeBoer's former team, the Florida Panthers, needing seven games in the opening round. The Devils followed up by knocking off the Philadelphia Flyers in five games and the Rangers in six. This is DeBoer's first season with the Devils.
They said it
KINGS: "Some days you feel 40, even when you're 26." — Quick on whether he would be playing at 40, like Brodeur.
DEVILS: "I felt the majority said no, don't touch it. So I figured not touch it. Let's just get a picture around it. And I mean, I wanted to touch it, but the majority said no. So that's fine with me." — Parise on the group decision not to touch the Prince of Wales trophy after the Devils beat the Rangers.