When the Los Angeles Kings were down three games to none in the first round of the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks, it looked as though their Stanley Cup aspirations had melted away. Erasing a 3-0 deficit to come back and win the series is no easy feat. The Kings were only the fourth team in league history to pull it off. Coming back to beat the Sharks may have been one of their toughest hurdles this post season, however they also had to get through the top seeded Anaheim Ducks and defending champs, the Chicago Blackhawks. All three of those series went to seven games, and the Kings were able to beat the New York Rangers in five games to hoist the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.
The Kings won in overtime in Game 1, but looked a little sluggish in the first two periods. The Rangers\' extra three days of rest definitely seemed to play a factor there. The Kings seemed comfortable playing from behind, and did so not only in Game 1, but Game 2 as well.
Game 2 went to double overtime and was also close, but the Rangers held the lead for a majority of the game and became a little too comfortable allowing the Kings to tie it up halfway through the third and end it in double OT.
In Game 3, the Rangers were nowhere to be found. Jonathan Quick kept the Rangers off the scoresheet to claim the shutout. Fans in Manhattan paid an average ticket price of almost $2,000. That is a lot of money to watch your team fall behind by three games in the series.
New York did not pull off the near impossible like the Kings did earlier against the Sharks, but they weren’t swept which takes away some of the sting for the Ranger faithful. The series most likely would have been only four games had it not been for “The King” himself, Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist was under heavy fire from the Kings and in four of the five games he averaged over 40 saves per game. His best game of the series was Game 4, he saved 40 of 41 shots faced and only had one shot against with a .976 save percentage.
Game: Saves, GA, SV%, Score LA/NY
1: 40, 3, .930, 3-2 OT
2: 39, 5, .886, 5-4 2OT
3: 12, 3, .800, 3-0
4: 40, 1, .976, 1-2
5: 48, 3, .941, 3-2 2OT
Lundqvist was unbelievable in Game 5 and had at least a dozen highlight worthy saves. He was absolutely peppered and made 48 saves. The Rangers had hit a couple of goal posts in both overtime periods, and Lundqvist recalled that “we hit a post in every overtime (of the series)”. A little bit of puck luck could have really changed the series. If it weren’t for Lundqvist, the Rangers would have been swept. He stole game four for the Rangers and gave them a fighting chance in games 1, 2 and 5.
The Conn Smyth Trophy was awarded to Justin Williams, who had 9 goals and 25 points in this year\'s playoffs. It is his third time winning the Stanley Cup, and he holds the record for most points in game sevens, 7 Goals, 7 assists, in 7 game sevens. The award could have gone to several players on the Kings including Anze Kopitar who had 26 points this post season. Marian Gaborik who was acquired before the trade deadline from Columbus, had 14 playoff goals. He could have taken the award just as easily. Jeff Carter could have taken the award as well, with 10 goals and 15 assists and of course Jonathan Quick, the Conn Smyth Trophy winner in 2012 also would have been a good choice. He had a phenomenal post season. Drew Doughty also could have made a strong case to take home the Conn Smyth, he had 18 playoff points and lead the team in ice time.
Considering the Kings had five players who could have been awarded the Conn Smyth, it’s safe to say that their star power and depth were the key reason to their success.