He ended it with a double-overtime goal that enters his name into hockey lore.
Martinez became the 17th player in NHL history, going back to 1918, to win the Stanley Cup on an overtime goal, as the Kings eliminated the New York Rangers with a 3-2 double-OT victory. Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane’s 2010 goal in Philadelphia was the last time it happened.
It’s a feat to celebrate. Although Martinez admittedly doesn’t remember much of that celebration.
“I blacked out,” Martinez said. “I tossed my gear, the guys jumped in, and I couldn’t breathe for a while. It’s a surreal moment"
The goal came at 14:43 of the second overtime, ending an extra session that had its share of near-misses and pucks off of posts.
Martinez began the play in his defensive zone. “It was just a loose puck in our own end. I just wanted to get it up into the forwards' hands, let them do their thing,” he recalled.
“I was just at the right place at the right time. [Tyler Toffoli] made a great play shooting far pad, and I was able to put it in.”
Winger Tyler Toffoli didn’t recall many of the play’s details either. “I just shot it on the net and then I saw gloves and sticks flyin’ in the air,” he said.
The shot flew off of Rangers goal Henrik Lundqvist’s pad, his 48th save of Game 5, and right to Martinez’s stick.
Lundqvist would not make a 49th save.
“It came off his pad pretty quick. I just tried to get a stick on it and get it on net,” said Martinez. “Our coaching staff, they always encourage the D to join the rush and join in on the offense. That’s what I tried to do.”
Martinez’s fifth goal of the playoffs gave the 26-year-old defenseman his second Stanley Cup championship, as the Kings won for the second time in three seasons.
“We like each other. We love each other,” he said.
“L.A’s the only thing I’ve ever known, being drafted here. But from what guys say that have played elsewhere, what we have here is pretty special, in terms of guys really liking each other, and that’s a testament to [general manager Dean Lombardi] putting together a group of guys like that.”
While Martinez will be remembered as the man who ended the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, he’d rather us remember the team that won it.
“It’s not about me or the goal. It’s about the L.A. Kings and the guys in that room,” he said. “We did something special. We knew we were a good team; now we know we’re a great team."
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- Tyler Toffoli
- Alec Martinez