Kings complete longest-ever trip to Stanley Cup title
The Los Angeles Kings completed the longest journey to the Stanley Cup in NHL history when they beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 5 of the Final on Friday.
The game was the Kings' 26th in the playoffs, the most ever by a championship team. The 1987 Philadelphia Flyers and 2004 Calgary Flames also played 26 games in one playoff season, but each lost a seven-game Final. The 2006 Carolina Hurricanes and 2011 Boston Bruins had shared the mark of 25 games played by a Cup winner.
Los Angeles went 7-0 in elimination games this spring, the most such victories ever by a Stanley Cup-winning team. The 1975 New York Islanders won eight elimination games but were beaten in the Semifinals.
Kings defenseman Alec Martinez scored the Cup-winning goal at 14:43 of double overtime in Game 5. He also scored the series-winner in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, making him the first player in NHL history to score the OT winner in the conference final and Stanley Cup Final. He's also the first defenseman to score a Cup-winner in overtime since Uwe Krupp did it for the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.
Martinez's OT winner was the 520th and final goal scored in the 93 games played this postseason, an average of 5.59 goals per game. That's up from 5.02 in last season's playoffs and 5.34 during the 2013-14 regular season.
Two Kings, center Jeff Carter and defenseman Drew Doughty, joined the "Gold and Silver" club, comprised of players who won an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup in the same year. They are the seventh and eighth players to do so, joining Ken Morrow (New York Islanders/United States, 1980), Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan (Detroit Red Wings/Canada, 2002) and Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook (Chicago Blackhawks/Canada, 2010).
Los Angeles had the top four scorers in the playoffs, led by center Anze Kopitar; his 26 points were one more than teammates Carter and Justin Williams, and four more than linemate Marian Gaborik, who led all players with 14 postseason goals after scoring 11 during the regular season.