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The Lakers would go on to beat the Knicks two years later, and lose to them again in 1973. Since then they haven’t met in a championship final.

There’s never been a Super Bowl between New York and L.A. teams and no possibility of one until Los Angeles gets an NFL team.

While the Rangers and Kings have never met in the Stanley Cup finals, teams from Southern California and the New York area have. New Jersey and the Anaheim Ducks played in 2003, and the Kings beat the Devils two years ago.

Still, New York against Los Angeles somehow seems different.

“I think it’s important for the league. This league has done everything for us, I want it to grow,” said Brad Richards of the Rangers. “These matchups are great for the game, and we understand that. It’s great for hockey.”

Despite the matchup of the two biggest cities in the country, executives at NBC had to be rooting for Chicago to advance instead of Los Angeles. Sunday’s Western Conference Game 7 was the most watched non-Stanley Cup Final ever, averaging more than 4.1 million viewers, but a lot more of those were Blackhawks fans than Kings fans.

While nearly 23 percent of all homes with televisions watched in the Chicago area, less than 5 percent of the homes in L.A. were tuned in.

“I would have rather played Chicago, because I think it would have been like old school versus old school,” said Rangers fan Matthew Geraghty, the head chef at Tir Na Nog, an Irish pub across from Madison Square Garden. “I’ve never been to L.A. to watch sports, but I wouldn’t consider it a hockey town.”

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Associated Press sports writer Rick Freeman contributed from New York.