LOS ANGELES — The off-season party is in full swing for the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings paraded the Stanley Cup through downtown Los Angeles on Monday to celebrate their second NHL title in three seasons.
A raucous contingent of fans lined Figueroa Street as the Kings rode nine double-decker buses and a flatbed truck about one mile to Staples Center. They showed off the Cup, the Campbell Cup and Justin Williams’ Conn Smythe Trophy while confetti flew and fans gave a nonstop standing ovation to the champions. The team gathered at the arena for a sold-out rally celebrating the second championship in Kings history. Los Angeles didn’t win a title in its first 43 seasons before winning twice in the last three.
The Kings wrapped up the Cup with Alec Martinez’s double-overtime goal on Friday night, beating the New York Rangers 3-2 to end the finals in five games. They had to win three consecutive seven-game series to reach the finals, emerging from the tough Western Conference with an overtime victory over Chicago.
Los Angeles has won 10 playoff series while playing 64 post-season games over the past three seasons.
“It’s been a pretty incredible experience these last few years,” said Martinez, who also scored the overtime goal that eliminated Chicago. “It’s just as good as the first time. Maybe even better.”
The rally crowd wildly cheered Martinez, two-time champion coach Darryl Sutter and forward Marian Gaborik, the late-season acquisition who scored 14 goals in the playoffs. Gaborik is an unrestricted free agent this summer.