PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero

“I blacked out. I don’t really remember. I think I threw my gear. I don’t know. I just remember everyone coming at me and I couldn’t breathe.”

That was L.A. defenseman Alec Martinez, speaking about his goal at 14:43 of double overtime in Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, which gave the Kings their second championship in three years.

It was, as you’d expect, quite the moment. And even though Martinez said he couldn’t remember exactly what happened, all he needed to do was rely on memory — last spring, the 27-year-old rearguard had plenty of experience scoring huge goals in extra time.

Twelve days prior to his Cup-winner, Martinez won the Western Conference Final against Chicago in remarkably similar fashion, with this tally in overtime of Game 7:

“He’s the magic man, I guess,” Kings forward Trevor Lewis said, per “He’s played unbelievable for us. I can’t say enough about him.”

Magic indeed.

The playoff run was filled with historical benchmarks for both Los Angeles and Martinez. The Kings became just the fourth team in NHL history to rally from 0-3 down in their opening-round win over the Sharks, then became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s (on the road, no less) in the same playoff season to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Martinez, meanwhile, went from being an occasional occupant in head coach Darryl Sutter’s doghouse — he was a healthy scratch 10 times during the regular season — to a part of hockey folklore.  The Michigan native became just the 16th player in NHL history to score a Cup-winning goal in overtime, and one of only four defensemen — Bobby Orr, Bill Barilko and Uwe Krupp are the others — to accomplish the feat.

Martinez, though, wasn’t interested in claiming his stake for fame.

“It’s not about me or the goal. It’s about the L.A. Kings and the guys in that room,” he said following the Cup-winning goal. “We did something special. We knew we were a good team.

“Now we know we’re a great team.”

Kesler leads Ducks to comeback victory over the Kings


Anaheim center Ryan Kesler played in his first battle of Southern California on Wednesday night and left his mark scoring twice, including the shootout-winner, and assisting on another helping the Ducks to a 6-5 come from behind victory over the L.A. Kings at the Honda Center.

The Ducks trailed 3-1 and 5-3, but battled back to snap a three game losing skid. The loss meanwhile drops the Kings to 1-3-3 on the road this season.

“It was a good game from us. Definitely a wild one,” said Kesler. “We could have given up, but the team stayed positive.”

Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty gave L.A. a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. After Ducks’ defenseman Cam Fowler got Anaheim on the board in the second, Trevor Lewis netted his second of the season forcing Bruce Boudreau to make a goaltending change – Frederik Andersen’s night was done after he allowed three goals on nine shots.

“It was very little, quite honest,” said Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter of the intensity Wednesday night. “It was just kind of a pond hockey game. It looked like one of our preseason games.”

Jakob Silfverberg and Kesler’s first of the night tied the game 3-3 just over two minutes into the third.

However, Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams restored L.A.’s two-goal lead midway through the final period.

Anaheim would not give up, captain Ryan Getzlaf and Kesler each picked up their fifth goals of the season to force overtime.

“I don’t think we let it ‘get away.’ We never really had the lead,” Sutter continued. “I know you define it by goals having a lead, but we really never had the lead. If it wasn’t for Jonathan (Quick), it wasn’t even close. They’re a much better team that we are.”

Kesler scored in the second round of the shootout for the winner. Jason LaBarbera made 13 saves in relief to improve to 2-0-1 on the season.

“I’m proud of our guys,” said Getzlaf. “We had our ups and downs, but I felt like we played a great game tonight.

Quick made 37 saves in the loss.

“I don’t think we had much energy, much focus, much execution,” said Sutter. “We used a short bench. Too bad actually we lost the shootout, because then Jonathan feels tough, right? He stood on his head to get us a point.”

The Kings don’t have to wait long for another shot at the Ducks – the rematch goes Saturday night at the Staples Center.

Video: Lewis goal ends Andersen’s night

After allowing three goals on 10 shots, Ducks’ starter Frederik Andersen was pulled Wednesday night.

Kings’ Trevor Lewis scored his second of the season at 9:20 of the second period ending Andersen’s night. Jason LaBarbera has entered the game in relief.

Brown leads Kings to first road win


Kings’ captain Dustin Brown scored his second of the season, on his 30th birthday, leading L.A. to a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars Tuesday night.

Trevor Lewis, who returned from an upper body injury, and Kyle Clifford had the others for the Kings. The win was the Kings’ first victory away from the Staples Center this season. L.A. is now 1-3-2 on the road.

“He’s gonna work. I talked to him last night about getting him back into the penalty killing a little bit, because that’s what his role is on our team,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Lewis. “We switched Jarret (Stoll) and Mike (Richards) partway through the first period and put Mike with Kinger (Dwight King) and Brownie, and that helped us a little bit.”

“I think, and putting Jarret with Lewie and Cliffy helped us a little bit. Got to find ways to score when you’re not scoring. I mean, still the top end of your lineup’s got to score goals. Five-on-three, you’ve got to score a goal, and Gabby (Marian Gaborik) had some really good looks. If he’s sharper, he probably scores on a couple of them. It’s the way it goes.”

Shawn Horcoff had the lone goal for the Stars in the loss. Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves while seeing his record drop to 4-2-4 on the season.

Jonathan Quick improved to 6-3-2 with a 33 save performance.

There was a scary moment in the third period when Justin Williams received a high-stick from Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon.

Dillon received a double-minor for high-sticking while Williams left the game immediately.

Sutter said Williams should be OK.

“Lucky it wasn’t his eye…be careful, just see how it goes,” he said.

Kings activate Lewis (upper-body) off IR


The L.A. Kings have activated forward Trevor Lewis from the injured list and assigned David Van der Gulik back to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the defending Stanley Cup champs announced Friday.

Lewis hasn’t played since Oct. 8 due to an upper-body injury, which caused him to miss nine games. He recorded six shots in 14 shifts against the San Jose Sharks in his only regular season action so far in 2014-15.

The Lewis injury came at the same time Jake Muzzin was also out of the L.A. lineup, which was a source of frustration for head coach Darryl Sutter.

The Kings enter the back half of a five-game road trip. They take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight, before moving on to face the Carolina Hurricanes and finally the Dallas Stars to conclude the trip.