Kings reign again in NHL
Last Updated: 14/06/14 2:10pm
The Los Angeles Kings have lifted the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years after a 3-2 double overtime win over the New York Rangers in game five.
Defenseman Alec Martinez was the somewhat unlikely hero in the second extra period, finally beating Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist after 94 minutes of action.
The Kings had, once again, been forced to rally from a deficit to level matters in regulation, Marian Gaborik making it 2-2 with just under eight minutes gone in the third period.
They then found Lundqvist a tough nut to crack, the Swede making 48 saves in total before Martinez found a rebound following a Tyler Toffoli shot fell perfectly into his path.
"This team never quits," said Kings center Jeff Carter.
"People have been talking about it all play-offs but unless you are in that room you don't really realize what it's all about and it's pretty amazing."
While Los Angeles won the series by a 4-1 scoreline, three of their triumphs over the Rangers, who had won game four in New York to stay alive, came in overtime.
I just saw there was a loose puck in my own end and I just tried to get it in our forwards' hands and Toffoli hit a great shot. Fortunately, the rebound came to me and I was able to put it in
They had gone seven games in all three series en route to the final, roaring back from 3-0 down to beat the San Jose Sharks in the first round.
They also overturned a 3-2 disadvantage to defeat the Anaheim Ducks, then won a game seven clash with the Chicago Blackhawks, who were the reigning champions, in overtime to win the Western Conference.
Justin Williams, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the play-offs, had put them ahead, only for the Rangers to hit back with goals form Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle.
However, Gaborik, who finished as the leading scorer in the play-offs with 14 goals, tied the game with a powerplay effort when he poked the puck between Lundqvist's legs.
Both teams hit the pipes twice before Martinez found the back of the net to settle matters, sparking scenes of wild celebration as his team-mates cleared the bench to mob the scorer.
"I just saw there was a loose puck in my own end and I just tried to get it in our forwards' hands and Toffoli hit a great shot," explained Martinez afterwards.
"Fortunately the rebound came to me and I was able to put it in."