It took the
Then how come it felt like 45 years to win No. 2?
Maybe this was simply cosmic and blood pressure-soaring payback for their Cup run of 2012 being far too smooth and so relatively unruffled.
With one final flourish, they needed only to play their longest game in franchise history to win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons. Their postseason of looking as if they were skating uphill finally ended when defenseman
They clinched the best-of-seven-game series, four games to one, after having needed to go to a seventh game in the first three rounds of the playoffs. The hardest playoff run stayed on script with an enthralling finish.
"It suits us, don't it? This is the way it's been the entire playoffs," said Kings center Anze Kopitar.
Said Kings left wing
In 2012, Kings goalie
Their Cup-winning goal against the Rangers came off a three-on-two rush, which Martinez started in his own zone. He led the rush and finished it off, beating Rangers goalie
Martinez, who started the season mired in the doghouse, had a look of joy and disbelief after he scored and Clifford was the first teammate he hugged. Talk about fitting: Martinez was the one responsible for the goal putting the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final, scoring the winner in overtime of Game 7 at Chicago.
"Toffoli had a great shot, far pad, and fortunately the rebound came to me and I was able to put it in," said Martinez, who was a healthy scratch for 10 of the first 15 games of the regular season. "It was a great play by them. I'm just the benefactor."
The NHL's postseason that absolutely refused to end almost willed itself to live for a few more days. Game 5 may have gotten off to a tepid start, but it picked up momentum late in the second period after former Kings forward
"We knew it was going be a tough series," Martinez said. "There were a lot of guys who have been around from a couple of years ago. We know the fourth one is definitely the hardest one to get. That's what we were talking about in the locker room. We just had to dig deep and just keep grinding away.
"We believed that we were going to win this game."
Not that there weren't a few questions along the way. The Kings trailed the
"There's no words that can describe what you're feeling right now," said Williams. "What we went through this year makes it so much more special. Each Cup is unique, but, God, we earned this one."
The second Stanley Cup was especially sweet for Kings defenseman
"Of course there's always doubt," Mitchell said. "We've been through so many Game 7s and so many overtimes, that you have doubt.
"But it's also a galvanizing thing where you've done it before and you know you can do it again.