Kings beat Rangers in double OT to win Stanley Cup
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LOS ANGELES - The Rangers' unexpectedly long season ended deep in the second overtime of Game 5 Friday night. Alec Martinez scored on the rebound of Tyler Toffoli's shot at 14:43 of the second extra session to give the Kings a 3-2 victory and the Stanley Cup, as they beat the Rangers four games to one.
Henrik Lundqvist, who had made 48 saves and was largely responsible for giving the Rangers a shot at the Stanley Cup for the first time in 20 years, deflected Toffoli's shot with his right pad, but it went directly to Martinez, who hit the left side of the net. The Rangers' season was done.
All three games in Los Angeles went into overtime -- with two going into a second OT period -- and the Kings won all three. The Rangers led in all three, holding four separate two-goal leads in the first two games. Their Game 4 win also was by one goal.
"It's been a game of inches in the whole series,'' defenseman Dan Girardi said. "Bounce here, a bounce there. I guess it just wasn't meant to be for us. We had a heck of a year, but this one's definitely going to leave a sour taste for a while.''
"It's the worst feeling for a hockey player,'' Marc Staal said. "You get this far and you do so much . . . I've never felt any worse than how I'm feeling.''
Said Derick Brassard, "We all feel like we want to go back out there. We had so many chances and we couldn't put it away.''
Nearby, Lundqvist sat at his corner locker and hung his head between his outstretched legs for a long time before speaking to the media.
"They have a good team. They're so balanced. You have to give them credit,'' he said. "But we could have won all three in this building. I said at the beginning of the playoffs, I didn't want to leave anything out there. I feel like I wanted to do everything I could to help this team. It was not enough. I've never been so tired in my life.''
In an intense first overtime, Lundqvist stopped 13 shots and Jonathan Quick stopped 10. Each team hit iron. Slava Voynov was whistled for a hooking penalty 3:54 into the period and Ryan McDonagh just missed winning it when his blast from the top of the left circle beat Quick and hit the far post. With 7:09 left, Toffoli's wrister hit the crossbar over Lundqvist's right shoulder.
"This is a fresh wound,'' said Martin St. Louis, who played with a heavy heart after dealing with the death of his mother during the Pittsburgh series. "I'm proud of every guy in the room. We fought hard. We had chances in overtime; we hit a few posts.''
During a dominant third period by the Kings, who tied the score at 2-2 on Marian Gaborik's power-play goal at 7:56, Lundqvist forced the third overtime in five games of the Final with 11 of his 27 regulation saves.
Leading 2-1 after two periods on goals by Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle, the Rangers couldn't control the relentless Kings, who stormed the Rangers' zone and kept Lundqvist under duress.
Mats Zuccarello, chasing a cleared puck past Jake Muzzin at the blue line, was called for tripping Muzzin. Gaborik, a former Ranger, scored his playoff-high 14th goal by jamming in a rebound.
Quick had to make only three saves in the third, the best with his right pad on Boyle's spinning try with just over four minutes left.
With the Rangers trailing 1-0 and being outplayed in the second period, with only two shots on Quick at the halfway mark, Kreider tied the score on the power play.
With Dwight King off for high-sticking Zuccarello, McDonagh threaded a pass from the right circle past Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene to Kreider in front, and he cleanly redirected it in at 15:37.
The Rangers had been 1-for-19 with the man advantage in the series before that. Brad Richards, who missed wide on two power-play shots in the first, hit the scoresheet for the first time in the Final with the second assist.
Then, with Dominic Moore in the box at 17:37, Boyle stunned the crowd with the go-ahead goal on a shorthanded rush. Carl Hagelin got the puck to Boyle, who crossed the blue line, cut left and fired a top-corner laser from 27 feet over Quick's glove with 30 seconds left in the period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. It was Boyle's third of the playoffs.
In the first period, the Rangers skated with the speed they utilized in Game 1 of the series. But the Kings had the first five shots, the first power play and the first goal, by Justin Williams at 6:04.