The Los Angeles Kings used to be novices in the Stanley Cup finals. But going into Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup finals on June 13, the Kings were in a familiar position. For the second time in three years, the Kings could clinch a Cup in Los Angeles, only this was against the New York Rangers in Game 5 instead of the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 -- and it took double overtime until the Cup could finally be lifted after a 3-2 win.
Alec Martinez put himself and the Kings into Stanley Cup immortality with over five minutes left in the second overtime. Once Tyler Toffoli's shot went off Henrik Lundqvist, the puck dropped right onto Martinez's stick. Lundqvist stood on his head again to keep New York alive, but Los Angeles's 51'st and last shot of Game 5 -- and the entire season -- was finally too much.
Beforehand, the Kings jumped out to a 1-0 lead early, on a goal from future Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams. But in short order late in the second period, Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle put the Rangers on top. This continued the dominant thread of these Stanley Cup finals, as for the third time in Los Angeles, New York went into the third period with the lead. Then for the third time, it lost the lead thanks to Marian Gaborik's playoff leading 14'th goal.
In Game 1, the Rangers merely lost a 2-0 lead and lost in one overtime. In Game 2, the Kings erased a 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 lead and won in two overtimes. In Game 5, both the Kings and Rangers had their chances to win in the first overtime, only to hit the crossbar.
The Rangers had a few surges in the second overtime, yet both teams were starting to look tired as a third overtime looked likely. But it was the Kings' fourth line that brought the Stanley Cup onto the Staples Center ice and ended the finals, as Martinez scored his first goal since the Game 7 overtime tally in Chicago that got Los Angeles into the finals.
When the Kings clinched the Stanley Cup in 2012, Game 6 was a blowout and a coronation. Game 5 in 2014, and this whole postseason in general, was much tougher for Los Angeles -- but it had the same old ending.