No. 2: Alec Martinez, 2014, Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers
This one is really electrifying. As a hockey fan, it’s hard not to get goosebumps. The “We want the Cup!” chants, the double-overtime setup, the L.A. fans knowing another title was just one goal away. And Martinez’s celebration kind of wraps it all together.
He started this 3 on 2 and then floated to Henrik Lundqvist‘s right, waiting for any rebound or pass. Tyler Toffoli got him the latter with a shot that banked of Lundqvist’s pad and right to Martinez, after which he leaped into the air like a dolphin.
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It gets so loud in Staples Center after this play, it’s almost hard to believe. The goal was a pretty simple one, nothing fancy. But it wrapped up an entire NHL season. That’s big.
No. 1: Duncan Keith, 2015, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Okay, maybe I’m a little biased here. But this goal is just such a crazy team effort, followed by a crazy individual effort. It broke a scoreless tie late in the second period. It sent a home crowd into hysterics (which actually may’ve been topped by the game’s other goal later on). And Keith’s reaction to it is excellent, of course.
With the Lightning stuck trying to make a change, Brandon Saad took a hit to make a play up ice, after which Richards nicked the puck to Kane entering the offensive zone. Keith was trailing and pretty much unguarded, so as the Lightning surrounded Kane, waiting for his next move, they missed the winger making a pass to his defenseman.
Keith threw a shot on Ben Bishop, skated through a few Lightning to chase down the rebound and slapped it past him, screaming through his rugged beard like a mountain man who had finally taken down the bear. Everything about the play is perfect from a goal-scoring perspective, and it’s a good one to eventually win a championship series.