Posted: 5/10/2012 2:43:19 AM
Brown's last goal was an empty-netter with 26 seconds left to clinch the win as he got past Shattenkirk and was abruptly tackled by teammate Anze Kopitar.
"Once I got around him, I knew it was over," Brown said. "Kopi was probably a little more excited than me. I don't think he realized how big he is. He jumped two feet in the air. It was a big step for this team. It's the first time a lot of guys have experienced this. We'll enjoy it tonight but we don't just want to be known as the team that got past the second round."
If the playoffs have been a coming out party for the Kings, no player has been a bigger revelation than Brown, who was reportedly being shopped around the league at the trade deadline. It was a difficult time for Brown, the longest tenured King and the captain of the team, having to regularly read and hear his name mentioned in trade rumors.
"He's my roommate on the road, so obviously we talked about it," Drew Doughty said. "Right before the trade deadline he got a hat trick and ever since then, he's been one of, if not our best forward. Without a doubt, he's played great every game defensively, hitting guys hard and putting up points. He's a great leader."
Brown, who has scored six goals in the playoffs and has 11 points, has avoided talking about the trade deadline rumors during the postseason but said his hat trick coming when it did as the rumors were swirling around him was probably more than merely a coincidence. "You're motivated when your name is out there," Brown said. "Not to say I wasn't motivated before that but you have a chip on your shoulder when stuff is being said about you."
Many of the Kings, including their coach, continued to act as though they had a chip on their shoulder after Sunday's win, refusing to get too excited with simply reaching the Western Conference finals. Most players said the team was simply halfway through its intended journey.
"The Kings organization has never won the [Stanley] Cup and that's exactly what we're here to do," Doughty said. "We're here to win the next series, go to the next one and win the Cup and be the first team in Kings franchise history to do that."