For the second time in three years, the Los Angeles Kings raised the Stanley Cup following their thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory over the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Finals on Friday night at Staples Center.
Playing in an NHL-record 93rd playoff game and needing 94 minutes to outlast the Rangers, Kings defenseman Alec Martinez rebounded Tyler Toffili’s deep wrist shot and fired into a wide open net past New York goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist.
For much of the evening, Lundqvist was barraged by shots. The Kings kept hammering away at the Swedish star, and after several shots that bounced off the post, L.A. found a way to slip one in.
Kings right wing Justin Williams gave L.A. a 1-0 lead in the first period, but left wing Chris Krieder tied the game with a power play goal and center Brian Boyle’s shorthanded score in the second period handed New York their fourth lead in the series.
Still, the Rangers managed to cough up another lead after Kings right wing Marian Gaborik scored off a power play with 7:56 remaining in the third. The Rangers held 2-0 leads in the first two games, but gave up both and only managed to keep one advantage in their lone Game Four victory.
Martinez would go on to score his fifth goal of the playoffs, and the Kings notched their third overtime win during the Finals. The Kings were forced into seven games in each of the three previous rounds, becoming the fourth team in NHL history to storm back from a 3-0 deficit in the first round against San Jose, and erased a 3-2 hole versus Anaheim in the second round.
Williams was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. The 32-year-old native of Cobourg, Ontario, totaled nine goals and 16 assists in 26 postseason games, and led the Kings in plus-minus with plus-13.
While L.A. was never down a single game to the Rangers, it needed two comebacks in the first two games and clutch overtime goals from Williams and Dustin Brown to put N.Y. in a 2-0 hole.
When the series turned to New York, Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick sent back all 32 Ranger shot attempts in Game Three while centers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, and defenseman Jake Muzzin each provided goals in the 3-0 shutout and a commanding series lead.
Next up for the Kings is the championship parade, which will reportedly be held Monday starting in downtown Los Angeles at Figueroa and 5th Street.
The one-mile parade is expected to last 30 to 45 minutes, and culminates in a rally inside of Staples Center. The rally is sold-out, according to the L.A. Times, but for those who have tickets the doors will opening at 11:30 a.m. local time, and the rally begins at 1 p.m.
Players and coaches will ride on double-decker buses and pickup trucks with the Stanley Cup in tow.
For fans, parking lots along the route will be open and lots at L.A. Live and the arena will also be open.