Kings rocking the house at Staples Center *

Fans came in jerseys dating back to the Marcel Dionne days (that would be the 1970s and 80s) ready to stomp and cheer at the first Stanley Cup playoff game in L.A. since 2002. Outside, kids and adults played sneaker hockey in a makeshift rink set up in the plaza at L.A. Live. Kings TV announcer Heidi Androl posed for pics with admiring fanboys. Inside, the celebrating when the Kings took the ice was about the loudest I've heard here. I'm in blogger row in the upper level press box, where we had a good view of L.A. Opera star Alan Held belting out both anthems — and of matching first period goals by the Canucks and Kings. 1-1 tie after one period; the puck just dropped for period 2.

* Updates:

  • Kings take a 2-1 lead early in the 2nd on a power play goal by Michal Handzus. Fans loving it.
  • Handzus pots another on the power play, giving the Kings a 3-1 lead. About a minute later at full strength, Brad Richardson of the Kings spun and surprised Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo with a shot that goes in. 4-1 Kings with 6 minutes left in the 2nd period, and Luongo out of the game.
  • And now 4-2 on a Vancouver wrist shot.
  • OK, 4-2 after two periods.
  • Kings call it a standing room only sellout: 18,264
  • KIngs got lucky when a Canucks goal was disallowed, but Vancouver got a good one shortly after. 4-3 Kings.
  • 5-3 Kings on a long shot from left wing by Ryan Smyth; in the TV time out now with just over eight minutes left in the 3rd period. Fans getting their money's worth.
  • "Dancing Boy" Matt Barry, a crowd favorite of past Kings playoff games, returns at the 5 minute mark to do a few moves.
  • Canucks net empty with 1:20 left. But a penalty on the Kings with 56 seconds left, so Canucks will have a 2-man advantage to try to tie the game.
  • 5-3 final
  • Surprise: in the locker rooms, the Kings are tired, bruised and elated and the Canucks are tired, bruised and muted. Coaches the same, minus the bruises. Press corps for playoffs is more than double the regular season, with of course strong representation from Canada. May have some video up later.

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images at

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