The Los Angeles Kings are going to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Their quest was clinched Tuesday night with an overtime goal by left winger Dustin Penner that lifted them over the Phoenix Coyotes to end a gritty five-game Western Conference Final in five games.
The 4-3 win at Phoenix’s Jobing.com Arena means the Kings remain undefeated on the road this playoffs, with an overall record of 12-2. Since both contenders in the Eastern Conference Final ended the regular season with more points that L.A., the Kings will return to the road for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
After the overtime goal, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly came onto the ice to present the Clarence Campbell Bowl—the Western Conference trophy—to Kings captain Dustin Brown. But Brown didn’t lay a finger on the gleaming hardware.
“I’m not touching the trophy,” he later told the Los Angeles Times in the Kings’ locker room. “It’s called the Stanley Cup playoffs for a reason. I didn’t want to be near it.”
Advancing to the Finals for the second time in franchise history, the Kings will square off against either the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils on the east coast next Wednesday. That series is tied 2-2.