L.A. Kings Will Have to Wait for First Stanley Cup
There was no Hollywood ending for the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. Needing a victory to complete a sweep of the New Jersey Devils and capture the first Stanley Cup in their 45-year history, the Kings fell to the New Jersey Devils 3-1.
The Kings still lead the best-of-seven NHL championship series three games to one, with Game 5 set for Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Only three teams in league history have blown a 3-0 series lead. The loss was only the third in 18 playoff games for Los Angeles this year.
Folks from throughout show business crammed inside the sold-out Staples Center hoping to party with the team. This was one hot ticket, with seats in the top 300 level going for more than $1,500.
Among the Hollywood types taking it all in were Jerry Bruckheimer, Cuba Gooding Jr., Eric Stonestreet, Charlie Sheen, Vince Vaughn, Al Michaels, Jeremy Renner, LL Cool J, David Boreanaz, Matthew Perry, Will Ferrell, Martin Short, Will Arnett, Alyssa Milano, Ellen Page, Patrick Warburton (famous for his turn as a Devils fan from Seinfeld) and John Ondrasik.
"This is huge," Perry, a longtime season ticket holder and a Kings fan since the early 1980s, told THR during the game. "This place is loud. I was at games in New Jersey, in Madison Square Garden, and this place is louder than those places."
However, things in the arena got awfully quiet when New Jersey's Adam Henrique put the puck past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick to break a 1-1 tie with 4:29 left. The Devils added an empty-net goal to ice the game.
Said Stonestreet: "It's disappointing that they didn't win it on home ice, but we'll just beat 'em in New Jersey."
After the Devils took their first lead of the series with a goal by Patrik Elias with about 12 minutes remaining, the Kings responded 62 seconds later with a power-play score from Drew Doughty to tie it at 1-1.
Longtime local Kings TV announcers Bob Miller and Jim Fox, who had not been heard during Stanley Cup Final games because NBCUniversal has the rights, called their first game of the series. They were heard throughout Staples on the concourse and in restrooms, with the Kings looking to use the "broadcast" on a Stanley Cup-winning DVD. They'll have another try at it Saturday night.
A Game 6, if necessary, would be played back at Staples on Monday night.