LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Kings completed a remarkable and improbable run to their second Stanley Cup championship in three years by defeating the New York Rangers with a 3-2, double-overtime victory on Friday night at Staples Center.
Kings defenseman Alec Martinez buried a rebound 14 minutes 13 seconds into the second overtime to start the celebration. The Kings came up the ice on a three-on-two rush. Forward Tyler Tofolli got off a shot that goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped. But the puck bounced to Martinez, who did not miss the open net. The shot was followed by a pile of teammates on his back.
Martinez also scored the game-winner in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.
Kings winger Justin Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.
As been their M.O. this playoff season, the Kings did this the hard way.
Facing elimination seven times in the three rounds of playoffs before the Stanley Cup Final, the Kings continually showed their resilience when they became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s on the road.
The Kings then had home-ice advantage against the Rangers yet needed overtime in Games 1 and 2 to clinch 3-2 and 5-4 victories, respectively, after wiping out two-goal deficits in each meeting at Staples Center. Goaltender Jonathan Quick then turned in an impressive performance, making several outstanding saves among his 32, in leading L.A. to a 3-0 victory in Game 3 on Monday in New York, where the Rangers avoided elimination with a thrilling 2-1 win.
The Kings, though, almost didn’t make it out of the first round, losing three games in a row to open the series against San Jose. They completed that series with a 5-1 victory over the Sharks to set up a first-ever playoff meeting against its Southern California rival, the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks. The Kings won the first two games on the road before losing three in a row. Again the Kings prevailed in a series decider, routing the Ducks, 6-2.