EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Jonathan Quick remembers eating ice pops with his friends and watching their beloved Rangers win the Stanley Cup on television in 1994. Dustin Brown vaguely recalls Joe Nieuwendyk bringing the Cup to Ithaca, N.Y., but can't remember if he saw it up close.
With one win by their Kings, the goalie and the captain will have the Stanley Cup in their hands, above their head — even in the Pacific Ocean, if they want.
The stage is set for a California coronation in Game 4 tonight, when the Kings can sweep the Devils in the Stanley Cup final in front of a sellout crowd that has been waiting 45 years for this chance to celebrate.
"It's right there in front of us, but we know there's one more step," Brown said Tuesday. "We don't want to trip now."
Eighth-seeded Los Angeles, a franchise that has never done much in the postseason, is on a 15-2 playoff run that has only one equal in NHL history. L.A. has steamrolled every opponent by a combined 49-24 margin.
The Kings can be the first NHL team to win the Cup at home since Anaheim in 2007, rewarding the fans who consistently sold out Staples Center even during a playoff absence from 2002-10 before general manager Dean Lombardi's rebuilding plan yielded results.
"There's a lot at the end there to look forward to, if we play the right way," Jarret Stoll said. "I'm sure we'll talk a lot about it the next day and a half to get ready, making sure we're playing the right way, having the right attitude. Can't get too excited, look too far ahead. You have to stay in the moment and play the game."
New Jersey faces the prospect of becoming the first team swept out of the Cup final since 1998.
"When you know you're playing well and the results aren't there, it's hard," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "We've got these breaks along the way, but even though we're working hard, we're not getting the breaks now."
moore's wife has cancer: Sharks center Dominic Moore, acquired from the Lightning in February, said he missed the final two playoff games because his wife, Katie, has a rare form of liver cancer. He said she was diagnosed late in the season, had surgery in California in April and is still being treated.
canadiens hire coach: Michel Therrien will coach Montreal for a second time, a home-gown product who rejoins a storied franchise that fell to last place this season. Therrien, who succeeds Randy Cunneyworth. coached the Canadiens from 2000 to 2003, going 77-77-36.