The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Phoenix Coyotes Tuesday night in overtime to eliminate the Coyotes and advance to the Stanley Cup final. The Kings will face the winner of the eastern conference finals between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. This will be the Kings first Stanley Cup final since The Great One; Wayne Gretzky wore a Los Angeles uniform.
The game five win against the Coyotes came at 17:42 into the first overtime period and gave the Kings a 4-3 win. The Kings came into the playoffs as the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference. The team has succeeded in defeating the top three seeds in the conference in their run up to the finals.
In the first round, they defeated top seeded Vancouver and then second seeded St. Louis and now the third seeded Coyotes. Not since 2006, has an eighth seeded team reached the finals. The biggest reason they succeeded in beating the three higher seeds was by winning their road games. Their win last night was their eighth consecutive win on the road during the playoffs. They are the first team in NHL history to go undefeated playing on the road en route to qualifying for the Stanley Cup finals.
The Stanley Cups finals will open on May 30, in either New York or New Jersey. Nineteen years ago was the last time Los Angeles played in the finals, when they faced Montreal. Now the Kings have a full week to prepare for the first game of the Stanley Cup finals.