LOS ANGELES – Despite coming dangerously close to being forced to play a Game Six in New York, the Kings played their hearts out and defeated the Rangers in an exhilarating game that went to double overtime.
New York was able to avert being swept in Game Four, and despite losing the series four games to one, they were not easy opponents for the Kings, by any stretch. Three of the games in the series went beyond regulation (Games Two and Five went to double overtime), which is indicative of how close the series really was.
Ultimately however, what matters are the victories, and the Kings showed that even when behind on the scoreboard, they have the will and the ability to win.
Last night's Game Five was one for the ages, and is representative of the Kings' playoff run as a whole. Justin Williams, who was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy this year, scored first in the First Period. However, the Rangers were able to score two of their own, forcing the Kings to once again, chase their opponents.
In the Third Period, Marian Gaborick tied the game, sending both teams to overtime. It seemed like both teams had game-ending scoring chances, with pucks hitting posts on either side of the ice. And at 14:43 during the second overtime period, Alec Martinez scored on a rebound from Tyler Toffoli's shot.
The Kings are the first team to win the Stanley Cup Championship twice in three seasons (2012, and 2014) since Detroit did it in 1997 and 1998. Los Angeles has played the most playoff games on their way to winning the Stanley Cup, with 26 games.
Many acknowledge the Kings' 2014 playoff run as the greatest professional sports championship run in history, and it would be difficult to disagree with that assessment. Los Angeles overcame adversity time and time again, against highly talented opponents through these playoffs.
The Kings faced a vicious and monumental road to the Stanley Cup, starting with the two other excellent teams in California, San Jose and Anaheim. Next, Los Angeles battled the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. It all culminated in a final intense series against a determined Rangers, where the margin for error was razor-thin. But the Kings pressed forward, and refused to settle for anything less than the Cup.
A parade and rally are planned to celebrate the Kings' Stanley Cup victory on Monday. Details can be found at the Kings' official website.