LA Kings win the Cup on Martinez’s double-OT goal
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years when Alec Martinez scored 14:43 into the second overtime to secure a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Friday and a 4-1 series victory.
Marian Gaborik scored a tying power-play goal with 12:04 left in regulation for the resilient Kings, who rallied from yet another deficit before finishing off the Rangers in the longest game in franchise history.
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.
After innumerable late chances for both teams in two nail-biting extra periods, Martinez popped home a rebound of Tyler Toffoli’s shot. Martinez is becoming a late-game playoff legend after also scoring in overtime in Game 7 against Chicago in the Western Conference finals.
“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.”
Chris Kreider scored a power-play goal for New York and Brian Boyle added a tiebreaking short-handed goal late in the second period for the Rangers, who showed no nerves while facing elimination for the sixth time this spring.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 48 shots in another standout performance for the Eastern Conference champions, but the Rangers repeatedly came up one goal short against the Kings throughout the series despite their goalie’s brilliance.
Both teams had tantalizing scoring chances in overtime, but could not convert.
New York’s Ryan McDonagh hit a post with a long shot during an early power play. L.A.’s Toffoli then rang a shot off the post with 7:15 left, and the Kings trapped New York in its own end for an exhausting stretch late in the period.
Kreider got a breakaway for the Rangers in the final minute after Drew Doughty fell down, but he missed the net.
Both teams again had shots that hit the post during second overtime, and New York’s Rick Nash had an open net, but Slava Voynov deflected the shot just high with the shaft of his stick.
In stark contrast to their rampage through the playoffs two years ago, the Kings earned this Cup with a high degree of difficulty.
Game 5 was the Kings’ 26th playoff game of the spring, matching the NHL record for the longest postseason run. Los Angeles has played 64 playoff games over the past three years, setting another league record.
After fighting through three straight seven-game series to emerge from the tough Western Conference, the Kings won the first three games of this series, starting with consecutive OT wins at home.
But New York staved off elimination with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.
Los Angeles started Game 5 with yet another big-game goal from Williams, who put the Kings ahead with his ninth goal of the postseason on a loose puck after linemates Dwight King and Jarret Stoll applied pressure on Lundqvist.
The Kings never led in their two overtime victories at home earlier in the series. But even after falling behind early, New York showed no semblance of nerves, largely outplaying the Kings in the first two periods.
The Rangers finally equalized when McDonagh found Kreider in front. Boyle then got a stunner after Carl Hagelin got the puck away from Voynov, skating around Doughty and wiring a pinpoint shot into the far top corner behind Quick with 29 seconds left for his third goal in 25 postseason games.
But the Kings showed the same determination that has characterized their entire spring run, and they finally equalized with Mats Zuccarello in the box.
Doughty’s long shot hit Lundqvist in the chest and dropped in front of him before Gaborik alertly poked it between his legs for the 14th goal of a spectacular postseason by the Kings’ newest acquisition