The longest postseason for the Los Angeles Kings led into the longest game they had ever played. After 94 minutes of impossibly tense hockey, Alec Martinez could scarcely believe it when a rebound off Henrik Lundqvist’s pads came straight to his stick.
From their first elimination game seven weeks ago to Martinez’s championship-winning goal, these Kings were resilient, relentless and remarkable. Martinez scored 14:43 into the second overtime, and the Kings won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years with a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangersin Game 5 on Friday night.
Marian Gaborik scored a tying power-play goal in the third period for the Kings, who rallied from yet another deficit before finishing off the Rangers in the finals’ third overtime game at Staples Center. Jonathan Quick made 28 saves and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams scored an early goal as Los Angeles added a second title to its 2012 championship, the first in the franchise’s 47-year history.
Long an NHL afterthought in their warm-weather city, the Kings have turned into a burgeoning dynasty — and they’ve turned Hollywood into a hockey town with two titles, capped by this glamorous finish. After innumerable chances for both teams in two nail-biting extra periods, Martinez started the final rush with a pass to Kyle Clifford, who dropped it to Tyler Toffoli for a shot. The rebound went straight to Martinez, and the depth defenseman buried it for his fifth goal of the postseason.
The Kings rocketed off the bench and gathered for a huge group hug near the Rangers’ net before the handshake line and the Stanley Cup ceremony featuring captain Dustin Brown’s second chance to take the 35-pound silver trophy from Commissioner Gary Bettman.