Kings celebrate

Kings fans cheer the players as they celebrate their double-overtime victory over the Rangers on Friday night. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / June 13, 2014)

After becoming the first team to reach the Stanley Cup Final by winning three series in Game 7, all on the road, the Kings' five-game series victory over the New York Rangers to win the Stanley Cup almost seemed abrupt — except that all three games at the Staples Center went into overtime, including Game 5, a double-overtime affair that was the longest in Kings history.

Alec Martinez, who scored in overtime to eliminate the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals, scored the series-deciding goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final as the Kings tied the NHL record for most postseason games, 26. The journey to the Cup began with a comeback from a 3-0 series deficit to the San Jose Sharks in the first round. In the next round, the Kings rebounded from a 3-2 deficit against the Southern California rival Ducks, before taking care of Chicago to win the West.

The long and winding road to the Kings' second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons:


GAME 1: April 17

at San Jose 6, Kings 3

Jonathan Quick was replaced by rookie Martin Jones after giving up five goals in the first two periods. Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov scored in the first seven minutes of the third period and Trevor Lewis cut the lead to two with 6:01 left. But that was as close as the Kings got. The Sharks' Brent Burns scored in the final minute of the game to give his team a three-goal win.

Three stars: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Sharks, 1 goal, 1 assist;

Raffi Torres, Sharks, 1 goal; James Sheppard, Sharks, 2 assists

GAME 2: April 20

at San Jose 7, Kings 2

The Kings jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period before giving up seven straight goals. Quick once again struggled but Coach Darryl Sutter let him play the entire game instead of pulling him as he had done in Game 1.

Three stars: Mike Brown, Sharks, 1 goal; Andrew Desjardins, Sharks, 2 assists; Raffi Torres, Sharks, 1 goal

GAME 3: April 22

at San Jose 4, Kings 3 (OT)

A Patrick Marleau shot deflected off defenseman Voynov and past Quick at 6 minutes 20 seconds of overtime to give the Sharks the win and push the Kings to the brink of elimination. It was the first time the Kings trailed 3-0 in a series since 2000, when they were eventually swept by Detroit.

Three stars: Patrick Marleau, Sharks, 1 goal, 1 assist; Drew Doughty, Kings, 2 assists; Jarret Stoll, Kings, 1 goal

GAME 4: April 24

at Kings 6, San Jose 3

Justin Williams scored twice to help the Kings avoid elimination in the first round of the playoffs. Williams, who had been without a point in the first three games of the series, had previously scored twice against the Sharks in Game 7 of their second-round playoff battle in 2013. Marian Gaborik also scored two goals.