LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Kings’ journey to winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons was anything but scenic.
In fact, their run was all but over at the beginning when they trailed the San Jose Sharks 3-0 in the Western Conference First Round.
It was during those situations that the Kings were the most dangerous. Los Angeles rallied to beat the Sharks, becoming the fourth team in NHL history to win a best-of-7 series after trailing 3-0.
The heavy lifting didn't end with their first-round escape. The next two series, against the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks, each went the full seven games.
The Kings became the first team in League history to play all 21 possible games in the first three rounds and advance to the Cup Final and also the first to win three Game 7s on the road in one postseason.
They needed five games to beat the New York Rangers in the Final but three of the four victories came after regulation.
Alec Martinez, who got the series-winner in OT against Chicago in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, scored the Cup-winner at 14:43 of the second overtime in Game 5 of the Final to win the Cup.
For coach Darryl Sutter and the Kings, their way is the hard way, and their tried-and-true method for reaching the promised land worked again.
“Most players, coaches, trainers never get any chance, zero.” Sutter said. “So when you get the opportunity … it’s always a testament to the group you have and to understand how tough it is.”