LOS ANGELES -- Before Game 6, the mood outside Staples Center in L.A. was subdued, especially in comparison to the festive mood before Game 4. The tension in the building was palpable, the party in the back of the fans' minds.
By the end of the period they were on their feet screaming at the top of their lungs, sensing what they are on the verge of seeing: A Stanley Cup for their Los Angeles Kings.
L.A. hopped out of the gate on fire, really pushing the play in the opening minutes. That led to a power play less than four minutes after the faceoff, but it wasn't that power play that did it. Instead, it was the five-minute major against Steve Bernier that sent Staples into hysterics.
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Bernier was called for boarding Rob Scuderi and tossed from the game. You can argue the merits of that over here. Regardless, the result was probably good morning, good afternoon and good night, from the Kings to the Devils.
Dustin Brown struck first, finally scoring a goal in the Stanley Cup Final. He then circled in the slot about a minute later and fired home another goal. Eventually the goal was changed to Jeff Carter instead of Brown, but it still stood on the board, and that's what counts.
Then, for good measure -- and plenty of salt in Bernier's wounds -- Trevor Lewis found the puck on the doorstep and slammed it home. The crowd was as loud as ever, knowing that they are likely just 40 minutes from seeing Lord Stanley's Cup raised by their beloved team.
That's how you start a game.