The ovations started after the Los Angeles Kings' third goal in 16 minutes to open Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, and the home crowd eventually serenaded its team off the ice for intermission.
The low-scoring Kings have become the Stanley Cup playoffs' highest-scoring team. This defensive powerhouse is shutting down the Chicago Blackhawks' big stars while pushing the defending champions to the verge of elimination.
Jake Muzzin, Marian Gaborik and captain Dustin Brown scored in a dominant first period, and Los Angeles beat Chicago 5-2 Monday night to take a 3-1 series lead.
Muzzin and Drew Doughty each had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick made 22 saves as the Kings moved to the brink of their second trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in three seasons with their third straight win over the defending champion Blackhawks.
Gaborik, who joined the Kings on March 5 and immediately catalyzed their offense, took a momentary break from the businesslike atmosphere of the Kings' dressing room and just plain marveled what Los Angeles has accomplished this spring.
"To come into every game with that confidence, to have that mojo that you can win every game, that's the difference," Gaborik said. "It's great to come to a team like this and be part of a winning culture."
Since trailing 2-0 late in the second period of Game 2, Los Angeles has scored 13 goals in less than 100 minutes, capped by a dominant first period in Game 4.
Muzzin scored on a power play, Gaborik added his 10th goal of the postseason off Duncan Keith's turnover, and Brown banged a puck into an open net for another power-play goal.
Capitals: After missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years, Washington hired former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz and promoted Brian MacLellan to general manage.
Trotz was the Predators' coach for 15 seasons before being dropped from the job in April.
In Washington, he takes over for Adam Oates, who was fired last month with a season left on his three-year deal.
MacLellan replaces George McPhee, whose contract was not renewed after 17 seasons with the Capitals.