This year's Stanley Cup final will be a matchup for underdogs everywhere, when the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings and sixth-seeded New Jersey Devils face off to become the lowest-seeded Stanley Cup champion ever.
In a series built on the unexpected, here are some players that could prove to be game-changers in the hunt for the cup.
Slava Voynov has been a key player in the LA Kings' run for the cup. A smart two-way defenseman, Voynov has averaged 18:49 TOI/G this postseason.
Voynov has scored all three of his points this postseason in Kings victories.
That's right, folks. Dustin Penner is a key to the LA Kings' cup chances.
Few players in the NHL get as much flak from fans as Penner, but he has stepped his game up. Penner is fifth on the team in points in the postseason—that's only seven points off his production for all of the regular season.
While Penner might not be a top line player for the Kings, he will have to be a key contributor for the Kings to win the cup.
Adam Henrique isn't a household name, but he might be if the Devils win this series. Henrique has been a stud in the playoffs so far, with two GWG—both of them being series-clinching goals.
There is nothing to indicate that Henrique won't be the hero in this series. He doesn't have the name of a Parise or Kovalchuk, but he has been nothing short of outstanding in his rookie season.
Bryce Salvador might be the most important Devils defenseman in this series. Salvador is instrumental to his team, scoring all 11 of his points and registering a plus-9 in victories.
He has been New Jersey's most productive defenseman in the postseason, which will be key to beating the high-scoring LA Kings.