The Los Angeles Kings received their championship rings and raised the Stanley Cup banner above the Staples Center ice Saturday afternoon in a ceremony that included family members of 6-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene -- one of 20 students killed Dec. 14 in a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
Marquez-Greene's family -- including their 8-year-old son, a youth hockey player -- presented the banner to Kings captain Dustin Brown and assistant captain Mike Greene.
The start of the abbreviated 2013 season -- teams will play 48 games in 99 days -- and pre-game festivities that come with winning the Stanley Cup were delayed after a months-long lockout. Kings fans got a look at the Stanley Cup -- they haven't seen the team in action since June when LA defeated New Jersey in Game 6 of the Final -- at a fan festival before the game, which Chicago won, 5-2.
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The Stanley Cup was marched from an outdoor ice rink to the Staples Center before the game. Fans cheered as a video of the Stanley Cup's off-season travels -- each member of the winning team's organization gets to keep the trophy for a day -- was introduced by Kings public address announcer Bob Miller.
The Kings then received their championship rings as they skated onto the ice for player introductions. The rings, from Tiffany and Co., features 104 brilliant pave set diamonds. The team's logo is position on a Stanley Cup. The text, "Stanley Cup Champions," is set around the bezel.
The Stanley Cup was brought to the ice and passed among Kings players around the perimeter of the rink. Kings center Anze Kopitar gave the trophy a pat as he set it on a stand at center ice.
Marquez-Greene's family -- her father, mother and their son -- then carried the rolled-up championship banner onto the ice. Her brother also was a student at the school.
"We honor together, the memory of Ana Marquez-Greene and her classmates, and pay tribute to families from all across America who watch hockey, play hockey and share experiences like today that bring joy and happiness into our lives," Miller said.
The ceremony was preceded by a moment of silence in memory of David Courtney, who had been the team's public address announcer since 1989. Courtney died Nov. 29 at the age of 56.
Every player who was on the ice during the eighth-seeded Kings' improbable run through the playoffs last year will return this season. Coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi received multiyear contract extensions.
"The banner and all that, it's pretty special," said Brown. "But we're just excited to play a hockey game."
Injuries prevented Kopitar and Willie Mitchell from playing Saturday.
Marian Hossa had two goals and an assist and Corey Crawford made 19 saves in the Blackhawks' victory. aptain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who led 3-0 on Michael Frolik's goal less than 15 minutes into the game.
Rob Scuderi and Jordan Nolan scored and Jonathan Quick stopped 17 shots for the Kings.
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