It was no easy task but on their second attempt, the Los Angeles Kings have won the 2014 Stanley Cup.
In a back-and-forth Game 5 at Staples Center, the Kings took control in the third period, then triumphed in double overtime—just the sixth time in NHL history that a Stanley Cup Final has needed three overtime games to determine a winner. Alec Martinez's goal at 14:43 of double OT gave Los Angeles a 3-2 win in game, a 4-1 win in the best-of-seven series and the second Stanley Cup Championship for the Kings in the last three years.
A surge from the Rangers late in the second period gave them a 2-1 lead but unlike in Game 4, this time New York couldn't hang on for the win.
Unlike most of the series, special teams were key in Game 5.
New York got on the board with its first power-play goal in 13 attempts at the 15:37 mark of the second period, with Dwight King serving a high-sticking penalty, then took the lead for the first time in the game with 30 seconds left in the second on a shorthanded goal by Brian Boyle.
The Kings answered back with Marian Gaborik's playoff-leading fourteenth goal of the postseason at 7:56 of the third period, while Mats Zuccarello was serving a penalty for tripping.
Like in Game 4, the Kings dominated in the third, outshooting New York 12-3. The shots were 13-10 in favor of the Rangers in a wide-open first overtime before Martinez scored his second series-winner of the playoffs to start the celebration at Staples.
The win caps off the longest playoff ever in NHL history. Down 3-0 in their first-round series against the San Jose Sharks, the Kings rebounded with four straight wins, then went on to battle the tough Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks to seven-game series victories.
After struggling to score during the regular season, the Kings boasted the top four scorers of the playoffs in Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Justin Williams and Marian Gaborik. Williams was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoffs' most valuable player for his continued success in clutch situations and key roles in advancing the Kings through each playoff round.
Coach Darryl Sutter took the reins of a discombobulated Kings team midway through the 2012 team and led them to a championship. With Friday's win, he has now turned his group into a dynasty.
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