The LA Kings' amazing playoff run continues. They swept out the St. Louis Blues on Sunday afternoon, and are now 8-1 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They will go to the third round, the Western Conference finals, for the first time since Wayne Gretzky led the team in 1993 — and only the second time in franchise history. The Kings barely qualified for the playoffs, but by eliminating the top two teams in the tournament LA is suddenly the talk of hockey.
In the next round the Kings are likely to play the Phoenix Coyotes, who lead their series 3 games to 1. The Coyotes play out in suburban Glendale, a couple of miles from the Dodgers' spring training facility.
ESPN columnist Pierre LeBrun on Twitter: "You beat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the West? That makes you the No. 1 Cup contenders in the entire NHL in my books."
It's the first time the Kings (around since 1967) have swept a best-of-7 series, says Helene Elliott of the LA Times.
Sighted at the game:
Phil Anschutz, owner of the Los Angeles Kings and the seldom-seen billionaire man behind Staples Center, LA Live and the proposed NFL stadium to be called Farmers Field, seated with Tim Leiweke, the head of Anschutz Entertainment Group. Photo by Noah Graham for NHLI via Getty Images on the Kings website.
End of game video clip from the NHL via LAKingsInsider:
Ticket information from the Kings:
The Los Angeles Kings, who this afternoon advanced to the 2012 Western Conference Finals following their 3-1 win at STAPLES Center to complete a four-game Semifinals sweep of the St. Louis Blues, have announced ticketing information for their next playoff series.
-- Current Full Season Ticket Members and Partial Plan Buyers will have access to a special Round 3 ticket presale beginning this Wednesday, May 9, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. American Express cardholders will also have a special presale beginning Tuesday, May 8.
-- Fans interested in securing tickets to the 2012 Western Conference Finals and beyond can place a deposit on a full season ticket package for the 2012-13 season by visiting www.LAKings.com/playoffs or by calling 1.888.KINGS.LA (1.888.546.4752).
-- Fans can also visit LAKings.com/playoffs to register to win an opportunity to purchase single game playoff tickets.
-- Private suites accommodating 12-132 people are available for purchase by calling 1.888.KINGS.LA.
“We continue to experience a very high demand for our tickets and we are taking every measure possible to reward our great fans and our loyal Season Ticket Members in particular as we enjoy this great playoff run,” said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille. “Our season ticket base continues to increase and we are well past our all-time high at STAPLES Center.”
On the ice, the Kings are the first eight seed in NHL history to eliminate a one and two seed, and they have become only the third No. 8 seed to advance past the second round (Edmonton in 2006 and Montreal in 2010). In addition, the last time a team went through the first two rounds in nine games was Pittsburgh in 2008. This was also the Kings first-ever playoff sweep in a best-of-seven series.
For all Kings ticket information, call 1.888.KINGS.LA or visit LAKings.com/playoffs.
Top image: Screen grab from ESPN LA