Kings and Rangers in Finals
CHICAGO (AP) — Alec Martinez scored on a tip-in 5:47 into overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 5-4 triumph over the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals at Chicago. The Kings fell behind three times in the game before advancing to the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in three years.
The Hawks appeared ready for a blowout win after Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored 3 ½ minutes apart for a 2-0 lead just 8:36 into the first period. Patrick Sharp added two goals, each one putting Chicago back on top. But the Kings forced overtime on Marian Gaboriak’s 12th goal of the postseason, beating Corey Crawford with 7:17 remaining in regulation.
Justin Williams and Tyler Toffoli each had a goal and an assist for the Kings. Jonathan Quick made five of his 37 saves in OT and blanked the Hawks after Sharp made it 4-3 late in the second period.
The Kings will host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday. The Rangers advanced with a six-game triumph over Montreal in the Eastern Conference finals.
This will be the first time the Kings and Rangers have met in the finals. The teams previously squared off in the 1979 and ’81 preliminary rounds, with the Rangers winning both times.