At the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs on April 11, few believed in the Kings.
Despite starting off with high expectations, the team underachieved during the regular season and limped into the playoffs as the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference. In particular, the forward corps struggled to score, despite the addition of former Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards in the off-season.
But the Kings have performed quite differently in the playoffs, having lost only lost twice in their improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals, in which they faced the conference's three highest-seeded teams in Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix.
While Los Angeles' opponent in the finals, the sixth-seeded New Jersey Devils, will be the lowest-seeded team they have faced to this point, the Kings will need the following factors to be working in their favor if they want to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.