Los Angeles Kings beat Rangers to reclaim Stanley Cup
The Los Angeles Kings reclaimed the Stanley Cup with a double overtime win over the New York Rangers that capped one of the most remarkable postseasons in National Hockey League history.
With both teams close to exhaustion and fans at the Staples Center roaring themselves hoarse during an epic slugfest, the Kings sealed a 4-1 series victory by winning game five 3-2 on Friday.
The winning goal came courtesy of defenceman Alec Martinez almost 15 minutes into the second period of overtime.
"Fortunately, the rebound came to me and I was able to put it in,” Martinez said. “The New York Rangers are a hell of a hockey team. We knew it was going to be a tough series.”
Fellow defenceman Drew Doughty said: "We always had the confidence. We just had a bad start to the first series. But we never gave up, we were fully confident that we were going to get to this point and I am so happy right now."
The Kings struck first in the opening period through Justin Williams, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the play-offs, but the Rangers led 2-1 after the middle frame when Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle scored in a four-minute span.
Marian Gaborik, who finished as the leading scorer in the playoffs with 14 goals, tied the game in the third before the teams slugged it out in overtime.
New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 48 saves for the Rangers, while Jonathan Quick turned away 28 shots for the Kings, who claimed their second title in three years.
While the series scoreline suggested the Kings romped to victory in the final, three of their four wins were decided in overtime and they overcame incredible odds just to make the final, winning each of their first three rounds in seven games.
In the first round, they roared back from 3-0 behind to beat the San Jose Sharks. In they next round, they came from 3-2 down to defeat the Anaheim Ducks.
Then, in the Western Conference Final, they won a game seven overtime thriller to see off the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.