The Los Angeles Kings and their fans waited 45 years to raise a Stanley Cup banner to the rafters. Then they waited three more months, thanks to the NHL lockout.
After all that waiting around, even the disappointment of the blowout loss that followed Saturday's ceremony couldn't completely ruin the Kings' first championship celebration.
The Kings recognized last June's Stanley Cup triumph in a joyous ceremony before their season opener, receiving their championship rings and showing off the Stanley Cup before their 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Although the defeat tempered the party, the Kings savored a day to enjoy their unlikely title.
"We enjoyed it, but we'll try to learn from it as well," captain Dustin Brown said. "To see our banners going up, and then at the same time not being as sharp as we want to be, it's a mixed feeling. We didn't come out and play as well as we wanted."
Los Angeles began the season without two key players: leading scorer Anze Kopitar, who hurt his knee while playing in Sweden, and defenseman Willie Mitchell, who had knee surgery.
"Obviously it's a long time between games, but it really didn't seem like that long," said Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who allowed five goals in a game only once last season. "It felt great to be playing again and to have that celebration, but we know it's time to get to work."
Penguins 3, Flyers 1: Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored goals 2:40 apart, and Chris Kunitz added an empty-netter in the final seconds to lead Pittsburgh past host Philadelphia.
"Well, it's been a long time since we played, but I think the energy is there," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who was showered with derogatory chants from Flyers fans from the moment he took the ice.
"This is a tough place to play, for sure," Crosby said. "We saw exactly what we expected out there, tough crowd, tough team, but it's a good experience for us, and we'll take it."
Philadelphia again proved it was immune to any lockout backlash: The crowd of 19,994 was the largest regular-season total in Flyers history.
Blues 6, Red Wings 0: Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice in his NHL debut and Chris Stewart also had two goals to help host St. Louis rout Detroit.
Stars 4, Coyotes 3: Jaromir Jagr scored two goals and assisted on the game-winner in his Dallas debut, and the host Stars beat Phoenix. Loui Eriksson broke a 3-all tie when he took a pass from Jagr in the slot and beat Mike Smith.
Devils 2, Islanders 1: David Clarkson's goal at 8:17 of the third period sent host New Jersey past New York. Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves for the Islanders, whose coach, Jack Capuano missed the game "due to medical reasons."
An Islanders spokesman said Capuano had been hospitalized and was expected to rejoin the team later this week. Capuano had been at Nassau Coliseum for much of Saturday.