The Los Angeles Kings defeated the New jerseys Devils 6-1 in game 6 on Monday night to capture the 2012 Stanley Cup. The Kings victory will mark the second time that Winkler native Dustin Penner has won the Stanley Cup, and the only player in history to win the cup twice in California, previously with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
After his first Stanley Cup and a key playoff performance, Penner accepted an offer sheet from the Edmonton Oilers worth $21.25 million over five years. After a solid start in Edmonton he then became often criticized for his production value leading to his eventual trade to Los Angeles in February 2011. Through much of the 2011-12 season the situation did not appear to improve as Penner struggled on the stat sheets putting up only 7 goals, 10 assist in 65 games, compounded by personal off-ice issues.
With a coaching change midway through the season and key acquisitions at the trade deadline the mood around the Los Angeles Kings dressing room slowly began to change towards a positive end. With that the Kings secured the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference giving an opportunity for Dustin Penner to start fresh in the post-season, and that he did. Through the 2012 playoffs Penner produced 3 goals, 8 assists in 20 games including his conference finals winning goal in overtime of game 5 against the Phoenix Coyotes . The "CPR" line of Jeff Carter, Dustin Penner and Mike Richards became a the Kings most consistent line throughout the playoffs combining for a total of 39 points, often instrumental in creating and sustaining momentum for the Kings in opponents offensive zones.
During last night's post-game celebrations and interviews Penner expressed vindication after a turbulent four seasons, in what is another exciting chapter of his movie-like journey to the National Hockey League and now two Stanley Cup championships.