NHL Playoffs 2012: Players Who Must Lead Way for Kings to Win Stanley Cup

Not only have the Los Angeles Kings clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals, but they have made it look easy. The Kings haven't needed more than five games in any series despite being the eighth seed, which means their opponent has always had home-ice advantage.

Thanks to that surprising run, they now stand just four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup. Let's take a look at three players who will have to lead the way if Los Angeles is going to have a storybook ending to its season.


Dustin Brown

Kings fans already knew about Brown's ability, but the playoffs have allowed him to showcase his immense talent to a much larger audience. He's scored seven goals and chipped in nine assists while continuing to play physical, as evidenced by his 24 penalty minutes.

With the NHL moving away from the wide-open play that dominated following the lockout, players like Brown are thriving. He's able to make an impact on both ends of the ice and seems to enjoy the added pressure of playoff hockey.

Brown must continue to lead the offensive charge for Los Angeles. Both teams left in the East are defensive-minded, so it won't be an easy task, but nobody has been able to slow him down yet.


Jonathan Quick

The NHL playoffs are usually highlighted by a goalie getting on a hot streak and carrying the team on his back, and this year has been no different. Quick has been amazing between the pipes, picking up two shutouts and posting a rock-solid .946 save percentage.

He'll face either Martin Brodeur or Henrik Lundqvist in the finals. That will be a great test for the young American to see if he can match up with with another elite goalie on a big stage and still come out on the winning side.

In the first three rounds, the Kings really seemed to feed off his performance, so it will be important for him to set the tone early...

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