MONARCHY! Martinez scores in second OT as Kings win second Cup in three years
By Forrest Lee The Sports Xchange
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts as the Los Angeles Kings celebrate the game-winning goal by defenseman Alec Martinez during the second overtime period in game five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez couldn't believe his good fortune.
Martinez slapped home a rebound with 5:17 left in double overtime, lifting the Los Angeles Kings to their second Stanley Cup title in three years in a 3-2 Game 5 victory over the New York Rangers before a sellout crowd of 18,713 at the Staples Center on Friday night.
The Kings defenseman, one of 12 former Manchester Monarchs on the parent club's roster, converted the series clincher after center Tyler Toffoli fired a blast that bounced off the pads of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and directly to a wide-open Martinez.
"Just a loose puck on our own end," said Martinez, who also scored the winning goal in overtime in the Western Conference Final to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks. "I just wanted get (the puck) into the forwards' hands and let them do their thing. Toffoli had a great shot. I was just fortunate for it to come on my stick and able to put it in.
"After it went in, I think I blacked out."
Reality struck quickly as Martinez was mobbed by his teammates.
"It's a special feeling, obviously, but I don't really care who scores (the winning goal)," Martinez said. "I'm just so proud of these guys. The adversity that we went through this year with both the injuries and coming back in series is just a testament to the leadership and the character in our locker room. I'm just happy we were able to do it."
Kings right winger Justin Williams was named the Conn Smythe winner.
"We were not going to be denied," said Williams, who scored the first goal of the game. "The confidence in our room is no doubt. That (winning the Smythe) will never sink in. To get that trophy and get the ovation for my teammates and from everyone makes it pretty special.
"There are no words to describe what you're feeling right now. What we went through this year makes it so much more special."
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 28 shots and Lundqvist was tested throughout the marathon, finishing with 48 saves.
The Kings won their first Cup in 2012. They captured this one by winning an NHL record three consecutive Game 7s on the road en route to the Western Conference title before dispatching the Rangers in five games.
Seventeen Kings on the current roster were members of the 2012 title team.
"Once we won the first one, all we wanted to do is win another one," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said, who had an assist in the win. "We kind of messed that up last year. We lost the Cup to another team, and we wanted it back so bad. We felt like it was ours, so we got it back and we're happy now."
New York, like Los Angeles, had opportunities throughout the first overtime, including a breakaway by left winger Chris Kreider, whose shot sailed high, in the final seconds.
Doughty said he had no doubt the Kings would eventually prevail.
"I don't want to say this series was the easiest, but it was the least physically demanding without a doubt," Doughty said. "The other series were more physical and demanding and tougher on the body. It was still a good series. We knew eventually (a shot) would go in. Just stick with it and one would eventually go in."
Martinez's goal came when he pushed in the rebound of Toffoli's shot from the left wing while winger Kyle Clifford was driving to the net.
Right winger Marian Gaborik delivered the tying goal and knotted the score at 2 in the third period, retrieving a blast by Doughty and scoring on a wrist shot between the legs of Lundqvist on a power play at 7:56. For Gaborik, it was his 14th playoff goal, tops for the Kings.
That seemed to rejuvenate the Kings, who hadn't played with the same intensity of the Rangers up to that point. However, they couldn't close out the Rangers in regulation despite outshooting them 12-3 in the third period.
All three games at Staples finished in overtime.
Williams gave Los Angeles an early advantage, knocking home a loose puck around the net for a 1-0 lead at 6:04 of the first period. It was Williams' ninth goal of the postseason.
After Kings left winger Dwight King was sent to the penalty box for high sticking, Kreider tied the score, fielding a pass from defenseman Ryan McDonagh and drilling it past Quick for a power-play goal with 4:23 remaining in the second period.
The Kings got careless late in the second period and the Rangers took advantage. Left winger Carl Hagelin corralled a miscue by Los Angeles near center ice and connected with center Brian Boyle, who slapped a shot from the left circle into the net for a short-handed goal and a 2-1 New York lead with 30 seconds left in the second.
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NOTES: The Stanley Cup had been won on the road in five of the six previous years. The Kings were the only club to capture it at home, in 2012. ... Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist was 5-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage in elimination games before Friday's defeat. ... Los Angeles C Anze Kopitar was the team's points leader in the postseason with 26 but didn't score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final. ... Game 5 was the 26th game of the playoffs for the Kings, matching the mark set by the 1987 Philadelphia Flyers and the 2004 Calgary Flames, who both lost seven-game series.