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In overtime of a potential championship clinching game, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez knows how to lift the team. In overtime of game seven of the Western Conference Finals, Martinez scored the game-winner that sent the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final. In game five of the Stanley Cup Final, Martinez snuck a shot past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist to give Los Angeles its second Stanley Cup in three years.
“I’m no hero; I’m just a benefactor of the rest of the team making good plays,” Martinez said after the game on NBC. “The one tonight, obviously, [center Tyler] Toffoli had a great shot. I was just lucky enough to have the rebound come to me and was able to put it in, but this run has definitely been a team effort.”
Game five was the third overtime game of the series and the second double-overtime contest. Los Angeles won all three games.
The Kings got on the board first when right wing Justin Williams netted his ninth goal of the postseason six minutes into the contest. The Rangers scored both of the goals in the second period to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Left wing Chris Kreider netted a power-play goal, and center Brian Boyle punched in a shorthanded goal on a fast break with 30 seconds remaining in the period.
Nearly eight minutes into the third period, Los Angeles right wing Marian Gaborik scored his playoff-leading 14th goal on a power play to tie the game.
After neither team scored in the first overtime, Martinez ended the game and the series when he put in a rebound on a shot by Toffoli. The time of the goal was 14:43. Both teams garnered several opportunities to score in the extra time. The Kings had 22 shots on goal in overtime, while the Rangers had 15 (equal to their total in regulation). For the entire game, Los Angeles outshot New York 51-30.
The goalies were spectacular. Lundqvist made 48 saves (.941 save percentage), while Jonathan Quick saved 28 shots (.933 percentage) for Los Angeles. Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the MVP of the playoffs. He recorded nine goals and 25 points in the postseason, reports USA Today.
The Kings, who played in their 26th game of the postseason, demonstrated resiliency time and time again. They won three game sevens on the road. In the first round of the playoffs, they overcame a 3-0 deficit against the San Jose Sharks, according to ESPN.
“It’s unbelievable,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said after the game on NBC. “It’s not just the last game; it’s the whole process; it’s not just the run. Everything that we talked about during training camp we did. You know, you go through so much adversity to win it.”