Hollywood itself couldn’t have scripted a better end to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final; a double overtime thriller in which we witnessed a duel between the NHL’s two best goaltenders. Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings came away victorious, winning their second Stanley Cup in three years. Alex Martinez played over time hero, scoring in the second overtime period to clinch the Cup for Los Angeles. With the way that Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick were playing, it really felt like this game was destined for a third overtime period. Lundqvist nearly got a piece Martinez’s game winning goal, but it just managed to sneak by.
- When you think of overtime heroics and a clutch goal with the Los Angeles Kings, Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams most likely comes to mind. Rightfully so, but Alex Martinez’s goal was his second of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to close out a series. Martinez scored the Game 7 overtime winner to close out the Western Conference Championship against the Chicago Blackhawks. That goal sent the Kings to their second Stanley Cup Final in three years. That goal was and still may be the most memorable goal for Martinez, as he claimed to remember very little of last night’s goal in the aftermath of the Cup celebration:
I blacked out. I don’t really remember. I think I threw my gear. I don’t know. I just remember everyone coming at me and I couldn’t breathe. It’s just a surreal moment. I’m just so happy for these guys.
-Courtesy of NHL.com
- It is fitting that the Kings won the Cup in a come from behind, overtime win. That has been the story of this team throughout the Stanley Cup Final, starting with their rally from a 3-0 deficit against the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs. Both the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks took the Kings to Game 7. Los Angeles defeated the Rangers in five games, winning in over time in come from behind fashion in three of them.
- No one appeared to be more crushed in the aftermath of the Kings win than Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist once again performed tremendously in net, making 48 saves in Game 5. This following a 40 save effort in Game 4. Lundqvist finished the final series with the Kings with one win and a .923 SV%.
- The New York Rangers simply gave the Kings too many opportunities to win this series. They gave up four two goal leads through the first two games of the series. They had a 2-1 lead going into the third period of Game 5. The Rangers had several opportunities to win Game 5 in overtime, both Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi hit post, Chris Kreider couldn’t bury a breakaway chance, and Rick Nash missed a wide open net due to Slava Voynov deflecting the shot with his stick. Hockey gods giveth, and hockey gods taketh away.