Alec Martinez scored on a rebound in the second overtime period Friday night to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 Game 5 victory over the New York Rangers, clinching the Kings’ second Stanley Cup championship in three years.
The goal in Friday’s four-hour marathon capped an impressive two-month playoff run for the Kings and set off a celebration in L.A.
“After it went in, I think I blacked out,” Martinez said of his winning goal.
After losing the first three games in the first round to San Jose, predicting Friday night’s jubilation would have been taken as an insult.
“I would have punched you in the face maybe,” Stanley Cup MVP Justin Williams told reporters last night.
In the end, the Kings won three seven-game series and were 7-0 in elimination games. All three finals games played in Los Angeles went to at least one overtime, and the Kings won them all.
The Rangers nearly pushed the series back to New York, but during the overtime periods they hit two posts, missed on a breakaway, and shot an open-net gift off a defenseman’s stick. The Broadway Blueshirts made it this far with stellar goaltending and a true team spirit after Martin St. Louis’s mother died suddenly on Mother’s Day weekend. But it wasn’t meant to be.
“It’s heartbreak,” said New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist, his face bright red and his eyes filled with tears.
The Rangers led every game in Los Angeles—including 2-1 midway through the third period Friday night—but the Kings were relentless.
“We have a team that simply will not be denied,” Williams said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.