The Los Angeles Kings will get another shot at the Stanley Cup after eliminating the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday with a 5-4 overtime victory.
Chicago tried to run away with the lead early on. Brandon Saad opened the scoring with one of the most impressive goals of the season, snapping the puck from the red line at an impossible angle past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. When the Kings took one of their many penalties minutes later, captain Jonathan Toews scored to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.
But that advantage evaporated almost as quickly as it was created. With four minutes left in the first period, Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown set up a rebound chance off the rush that Jeff Carter batted in to make it a 2-1 game. Less than a minute later, Justin Williams scored to even the score at 2-2.
That tie lasted only twelve seconds, as Patrick Sharp bounced a puck past Quick again to restore Chicago's lead as the wild first period ended.
Poor goaltending and bad bounces continued to plague both teams in the second period. When Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford gave up a juicy rebound at 10:31, a missed assignment by Brent Seabrook left Kings rookie Tyler Toffoli all alone to tie the game again.
Los Angeles' undoing in the second period was their discipline, as four penalties finally bit them when Patrick Sharp scored a power play goal late in the frame to give Chicago a 4-3 lead.
But the Kings wouldn't go away quietly. Marian Gaborik evened the score yet again with a goal midway through the third period, and the Kings survived regulation and sent the game to overtime.
After a very nervous start to the extra frame by both teams, Tyler Toffoli scored yet another big goal with the game-winning deflection midway through the overtime period.
Just like that, the Kings eliminated the defending champions and earned a date with the Rangers in the Cup Final.