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Dodgers fans erupt as Kings claim NHL title

LOS ANGELES -- An earthquake. In the middle of a Dodgers-Giants game. That was the last time A.J. Ellis had heard a crowd reaction so thunderous, so deafening.

This time, the earthquake was only figurative.

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Ellis was standing on first base with two outs in the sixth inning Friday when -- seemingly out of nowhere -- it happened. Fans jumped out of their Dodger Stadium seats, a sea of hands rose in the air and 42,831 gut-clearing screams joined together in cathartic unison.

All of that certainly wasn't for Chone Figgins, the Dodgers' eight-hole hitter, who stepped to the plate with the home team up, 2-1, over the D-backs.

At that point, Ellis knew: The Kings had won the Stanley Cup, defeating the New York Rangers in Game 5.

"They kept flashing the score on the board, and we knew they were in overtime," Ellis said after the Dodgers' 4-3 win. "As soon as the crowd erupted like that, we knew they weren't getting fired up for a Chone Figgins at-bat with me standing on first base."

The initial roar came without one of the video-board updates that had come throughout the night. The fans were clearly tuned into what the Kings were doing against the Rangers a few miles down the road at Staples Center. As soon as defenseman Alec Martinez knocked in the Cup-winning goal in double overtime, Dodgers fans -- some wearing Kings jerseys to the game -- began their championship celebration, soon chanting, "Go, Kings, go!"

The Kings had mounted, yet again, one of their patented postseason comebacks, tying Game 5, 2-2, with a Marian Gaborik goal in the third period to force overtime in the eventual 3-2 victory.

"Congrats to them. That's awesome," said pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who earned a victory of his own with seven strong innings. "It's a hockey town during the playoffs, and we get that. It's definitely fun to be around, and hopefully those guys come around at some point this year and we get to congratulate them."

When the sixth inning concluded and Martinez's goal and the Kings' subsequent celebration played over the video board, the crowd erupted for a second time. Strangers hugged strangers. Groups jumped en masse. A few fans ran up and down the stadium aisles.

Eventually, the video board flashed, "Congratulations, Kings!" then showed players hoisting the trophy, all while the stadium continued to shake and rattle.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he knew right away what the reaction was for -- it had happened last week, too, when the Kings battled the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We know what's going on," Ellis said. "We're very aware of the Kings and proud of them for what they've accomplished, and hopefully we can do something similar to that here in a couple of months."

Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for

Los Angeles Dodgers