A former Red Hawk and a former Minuteman have helped the Los Angeles Kings back to the Stanley Cup Final.
Alec Martinez (Miami) wristed home the game-winning goal 5:47 into overtime and Jonathan Quick (UMass) made 37 saves as the visiting Kings eliminated the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference on Sunday night at the United Center. Los Angeles, which won its first Stanley Cup in 2012 but was ousted by Chicago in five games in last year’s conference final, again showed its resiliency by rebounding from a two-goal deficit and three one-goal deficits on Sunday to win its third Game 7 on the road this postseason.
The Kings led the series by a 3-1 margin with three straight victories before Chicago won the last two games. Los Angeles is also 7-0 in elimination contests in these playoffs, while Quick personally improved to 4-0 in NHL Game 7s in his career.
Patrick Sharp (Vermont) scored twice for the Blackhawks in the deciding game, including a power-play goal, while Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) also connected with the man advantage for Chicago. Toews finished second in team scoring this postseason with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points.
The Kings will now face the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers, who last made the Stanley Cup Final in 1994, starting Wednesday night at the Staples Center in California. It will mark the first time the two clubs have met in the final, although the Rangers won preliminary-round series against the Kings in both 1979 and 1981, in two and four games, respectively.