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5 Greatest Moments in Kings History

In a city that once didn’t acknowledge the sport of hockey, the Los Angeles Kings etched themselves in the history books in more ways than one. 

Among the many significant moments in Kings history, including the dynamic “Triple Crown Line” era and a pair of Stanley Cups, let’s reminisce on the five that greatly influenced the organization and southern California.

5 — “Miracle on Manchester”

With the odds stacked against them, the 1981-82 Kings pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Stanley Cup Playoff history. 

The team was set up for defeat as it was scheduled to face the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division Semifinals. The Oilers finished the regular season leading the league in scoring.

The Kings took Game 1 in Edmonton but fell to the Oilers in Game 2 and brought the tied series to California.

Game 3 did not start off as planned as the Kings saw themselves in a five-goal deficit heading into the third period. It looked like the Kings were giving up, but it’s not how you start – it’s how you finish.

Jay Wells’ first goal of the playoffs ended the Oilers’ shutout two minutes into the third. The deficit was then cut to three as Doug Smith’s power-play goal made it 5-2 Oilers.

Charlie Simmer started to make things interesting with the Kings’ third goal of the game at 14:38. All momentum stuck with the Kings as Mark Hardy made it 5-4 with four minutes left to play.

Dionne Taylor Simmer Los Angeles Kings
The Triple Crown Line of Dave Taylor (left), Marcel Dionne (center) and Charlie Simmer (Shelly Castellano/Icon SMI).

The energy inside The Forum was uncontrollable as the Oilers could not find an answer for the Kings’ drive. With five seconds left, Steve Bozek left everyone with jaws dropped with the game-tying goal to send Game 3 into overtime. 

To put the cherry on top of an unbelievable comeback, rookie Daryl Evans scored the team’s sixth-unanswered goal at 2:38 of overtime and gave the Kings a 2-1 series lead.

Thirty years later, Evans looked back on the moment that stunned the world.

“It was just close your eyes and hope it hits the net. It found a hole over Grant Fuhr’s shoulder.”

— Daryl Evans

After dropping Game 4, the Kings went on to upset the highly-favored Oilers in five games to advance to the next round. Although they were eventually eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks, “Miracle on Manchester” showed that miracles can in fact happen.

4 — “The Trade”

The late 1980s was a big, critical point in the franchise. After the organization was purchased by Bruce McNall, he managed to bring the “The Great One” to Los Angeles.

On Aug. 9, 1988, the Oilers’ Wayne Gretzky, Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, were traded to the Kings in exchange for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first-round draft picks and $15 million.

After the news was officially confirmed during a press conference, Gretzky became very emotional to the point where he couldn’t gather the strength to talk about the subject.