Kings claim Stanley Cup title in double-overtime
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - For the second time in three years, the Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champions.
Alec Martinez scored with 5:17 left in the second overtime to lift the Kings to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Friday at Staples Center.
With just over five minutes left in the second extra session, Tyler Toffoli fired a shot from atop the right circle that Henrik Lundqvist padded away, but the rebound ricocheted to the low left side, where Martinez was waiting to send it home, ending the longest game in Kings history.
Marian Gaborik tied the game with a power-play goal 7:56 into the third, while Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams opened the scoring in the first for the Kings, who bested the New Jersey Devils in six games during the 2012 Finals for their first title in their 45-year history.
Williams was named the NHL's postseason MVP after posting nine goals and 16 assists while helping the Kings become the first team in league history to win three Game 7s on the road during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
"What we went through this year as opposed to 2012, the Game 7s, the backs against the wall, what we went through to get to this point is unique," Williams said. "Obviously every Stanley Cup is special in its own way, but we really had to earn this one."
Jonathan Quick finished with 28 saves, while Lundqvist put forth a valiant effort in defeat, stopping 48 of the first 50 shots he faced before giving up the game winner.
"I knew going into this series it would end in tears; tears of joy or tears of heartbreak," Lundqvist said. "Right now, it's extremely tough."
Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle tallied 3:53 apart late in the second period for New York, which made its first appearance in the Finals since last winning the Stanley Cup in 1994.
"Any loss in the Stanley Cup Final is going to be a real tough loss," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said. "Everybody laid it out there. I'm very proud of our group, very proud of their effort."
The Rangers carried a 2-1 lead into the third following their two-goal outburst late in the second, but the Kings, as they had done all series, dominated the pace of play in the third.
Following a Los Angeles flurry under eight minutes in that featured a pair of glove saves from Lundqvist and forced a New York timeout, Jake Muzzin made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone at the left point before being tripped by Mats Zuccarello, giving the Kings a power play with 12:21 on the clock.
During the following sequence, Jeff Carter duplicated Muzzin's effort with another nice keep along the left boards and carried the disc into the slot before feeding Drew Doughty above the right circle.
Doughty then fired a heavy slapper that Lundqvist fought off, but Gaborik was camped out in front and stuffed the rebound through Lundqvist's legs to tie the game at with 12:04 remaining.
Williams and Carter both came away empty on solid scoring chances late in the frame, but despite outshooting the visitors 12-3 in the third, the Kings were unable to find the go-ahead goal, forcing an extra session for the third time this series.
Neither team lit the lamp in a back-and-forth first overtime, as Lundqvist denied 13 shots, Quick made 10 saves, and both teams found iron on prime scoring chances.
Ryan McDonagh found the far-side post from the left circle with New York on a power play early in the first OT, while Toffoli ripped one off the crossbar with nearly 7 1/2 minutes on the clock to keep the game tied.
Kreider nearly ended it in the final minute of the frame when he blocked a shot and raced down the left side on a breakaway, but Quick turned the try aside to send the game to a second extra session.
After Kyle Clifford was whistled for boarding 5:43 into the second overtime to put the Rangers on the power play, Rick Nash found himself alone in the right circle with Quick out of his cage, but defenseman Slava Voynov got his stick on the shot, sending it knuckling high into the air.
Clifford atoned for the mistake later in the final frame when he set up Toffoli's blast that led to Martinez's Cup-clinching score.
"I couldn't see it," Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said of the game-winner goal. "Basically at that point the players are in sort of attrition, trying to get 20 or 30 seconds each. There was some ebb and flow in overtime, but I think our whole game was very consistent in terms of we were good in the first shift, we were good in the 20th shift, we were good in the 30th shift."
Early on, Lundqvist and the Rangers were on their heels from the start, as Nash was whistled for hooking just 1:44 into the game.
The New York netminder made a left pad save on a deflected Doughty blast during the early man-advantage, but with the teams skating 5-on-5 just past the 6:00 mark, Los Angeles broke through.
Lundqvist stopped Willie Mitchell's initial shot from the left point and fought off a rebound attempt amid a scrum in front, but Williams swooped in and backhanded the puck under a prone Lundqvist to give the home team a 1-0 lead at 6:04.
The Rangers rallied late in the second after Kings forward Dwight King was sent off for high sticking at 14:07.
Quick turned aside a Brad Richards blast from the high point just past the midpoint of the man-advantage, but the Rangers quickly worked the puck back to Richards, who hesitated briefly before feeding the disc to McDonagh in the right circle.
McDonagh then threaded the needle to the far-post, where Kreider was waiting to redirect the disc into the back of the net to tie the game at 15:37.
New York center Dominic Moore was whistled for hooking with 2:23 left in the period to give Los Angeles a late power play, but a hustle play from winger Carl Hagelin in the neutral zone helped the Rangers take the lead.
Hagelin knocked Voynov off the puck along the right boards near the red line and touched the disc ahead to Boyle.
Boyle then danced around Doughty in the slot and skated into the left circle before rifling a wicked wrister high over the glove of Quick with just 29.6 seconds on the clock.
Friday's Game 5 marked the league-record 93rd game of the playoffs, surpassing the previous high of 92 set in 1991 ... The contest surpassed Game 5 of the 2013 Western Conference finals (91:40) for the longest game in Kings history ... Gaborik finished the postseason with 14 goals, one shy of the Kings record, set by Wayne Gretzky ... Los Angeles played 26 games this postseason, tying the NHL record held by the 1987 Flyers and 2004 Flames for the most games in a single postseason ... The Rangers had won 11 of their last 13 elimination games dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Apr. 23, 2012 ... New York played a single-year franchise record 25 games this postseason and became the first team in Stanley Cup playoffs history to lose 12 games ... New York tallied a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the game, the first time they had done so in a playoff contest since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Apr. 26, 1996 vs. Montreal.
06/14 02:43:49 ET