LOS ANGELES – Alec Martinez scored at 14:43 of double overtime Friday night as the Los Angeles Kings mounted yet another comeback
to defeat the New York Rangers 3-2 and claim their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
The defenceman wristed home a rebound of a Tyler Toffoli shot to seal the Cup.
The Kings squandered 3-0 series leads both times en route to hoisting the Cup. But they got the job done in five games – three wins coming via overtime – this time compared to six against New Jersey in 2012.
Los Angeles’ remarkable road to this Cup was long and tortuous. It was an edge-of-your-seat record-setting ride though all-comers
that will be hard to beat.
The never-say-die Kings, who trailed by two goals four times in the first two games of the final, proved once again that the third
period is their domain. They have four victories this post-season when trailing after two periods. And in mounting the latest
comeback, they put an end to New York’s remarkable 5-0 record in elimination games.
The win improved the Kings’ playoff overtime record in 2014 to 5-2.
Los Angeles, which has won 17 of its last 22 home playoff games including six of the last seven, got to celebrate the championship before family and friends at a soldout Staples Center for the second time. They are the only team to clinch at home over the last seven seasons.
Kings forward Justin Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist kept the Rangers in the game for the second outing in a row. The elegant Swede stood on his head for much of the evening, especially when push came to shove.
The contest started slowly and took its time to boil, but finished in nail-biting, adrenalin-pumping end-to-end fashion.
The game ranks as the longest game in Kings’ history, surpassing Game 5 of the 2013 Western Conference Final (91:40).
The third period was all Kings as a goal by Marian Gaborik pulled Los Angeles even at 2-2 some eight minutes in. The Kings then came at Lundqvist in waves.
Los Angeles outshot New York 12-3 in the period and 29-15 in regulation time. The shots were 42-25 for L.A. after four periods of hockey and 51-30 when the dust settled.
Overtime was a thrill ride as both teams hit the post and Los Angeles poured it on.
The Kings kept their foot on the pedal in OT, with Lundqvist scrambling to repel the raiders. The Rangers pushed back and went on the power play when Slava Voynov was called for hooking at 3:54. New York defenceman Ryan McDonagh hit the post with a blast from the blue-line.
Toffoli also rang a shot off the post, some 13 minutes in. Lundqvist stopped Williams twice at point-blank range during one sequence late in overtime as the Kings turned the screws.
Then the Rangers mounted two assaults on the L.A. goal before Chris Kreider fired wide on a semi-breakaway.
In the second overtime, Kyle Clifford was called for boarding Derek Dorsett at 5:43. The Kings somehow hung on again, as a Dan Girardi shot clipped the outside of the post and Jonathan Quick make several key saves.
En route to the final, the Kings became the fourth team in playoffs history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit when they rallied to beat the Sharks in the first round. And they are the first team to play – and win – three Game 7s on the road in a single
Los Angeles went 7-0 in elimination games along the way. Only the 1975 Islanders won more (eight).
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