What do the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the Western Conference now have in common?
They were both eliminated by the surging eighth seed, the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings closed out their 4-0 series sweep of the St. Louis Blues today with a 3-1 victory. The Kings are now in the conference finals for the first time since 1993, when the team went to the Stanley Cup finals. They are also the first team in nine years to knock off a No. 1 and a No. 2 seed in the same playoffs.
It's been an unreal run so far, but the Kings are only half done and the best is yet to come. But for now, let's take a look back at some of the best moments from the Kings' first two series against the Blues and the Canucks.
Also, feel free to share your own memorable moments from this series in the comments if I missed anything you thought was particularly memorable!
It was really a hit that set the tone for the series. Richards had a fantastic multi-point night and made sure he put an exclamation point on it with this bone-crusher against Burrows.
In Game 2, Dustin Brown put the team on his back and scored not just one short-handed goal, but two.
The video above is the first one—which includes a mighty funny call by Jim Hughson, who raved about the save by defenseman Chris Tanev, when in fact, the puck was in the net—and the second can be seen right here.
Brown's performance was an utter back-breaker for the Canucks, who dropped both games at home.
While the save wasn't anything spectacular, it kept Game 5 against the Canucks 1-0 rather than 2-0, with only the third period left to play.
The Kings went on to win that game and the series. An eerie turning point reminiscent of the 2009 Kings-Canucks first-round series where Alex Frolov was denied by Roberto Luongo with the Canucks down in Game 4.
Some would say it was dumb luck, others a good bounce, but Jeff Carter, tongue-in-cheek, would tell you it was on purpose.
Take a look at the video and decide for yourself. Looked intentional to me.
Regardless of the intent, it was the deciding goal in the waning minutes of Game 1 against the Canucks.
One of many huge hits by Dustin Brown that went unpunished.
The Kings did what almost no one had thought possible. They beat the Presidents' Trophy-winners in five games. Safe to say if the Canucks had won this game in overtime, we may not be talking about a Kings-Yotes/Preds series right now.
It was the biggest lead the Blues had in the series. It was the only lead the Blues had in the series. All thanks to this save.
One of the best empty-net goals I have ever seen.
Probably the most offensively impressive period all season for the Los Angeles Kings. The second goal by Anze Kopitar in particular is a stunner.
Richards was the difference-maker in Game 3 of the St. Louis series with a power-play goal, a nice assist on Drew Doughty's blast from the point and a fight against Jamie Langenbrunner.
Right when it looked like the Blues were going to make a fight out of Game 3, Dwight King scored his first career playoff goal just 40 seconds after the Blues tied it.
Pietrangelo was injured in Game 1 and missed Game 2. Dustin Brown made sure to let him know what he had missed in the previous game.
Dustin Brown was the biggest thorn in the Blues' side this series, and it was only fitting that this goal would be the one that eliminates them.
With the season on the line, the Blues had to not only try and beat Quick, but apparently Anze Kopitar as well.