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NHL Series of the Decade: Kings Win 2014 Western Conference Final

LA Kings rallied to win Game 7 in overtime to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks before capturing their second Stanley Cup Championship in three years

by LA Kings @LAKings /

Series of the Decade: 2014 WCF

Series of the Decade: 2014 West Final, LAK vs. CHI

In an epic series that needed OT in Game 7, the 2014 Western Conference Final between the Kings and Blackhawks earns the Series of the Decade

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The 2014 Western Conference Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and LA Kings was everything it was hyped to be.

The much-anticipated matchup between the two most recent Stanley Cup Champions saw one team take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and the other come back to force Game 7, which went to overtime.

Video: The Kings and Blackhawks meet again in the WCF

The Blackhawks won 3-1 in Game 1 at United Center, then took a 2-0 lead in Game 2 before the Kings scored six unanswered goals, three by forward Jeff Carter, to win 6-2. The Kings went home to STAPLES Center and defeated the Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 3 and 5-2 in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead.

But back at United Center, forward Michal Handzus scored 2:04 into the second overtime to give the Blackhawks a 5-4 win in Game 5, and forward Patrick Kane scored at 16:15 of the third period to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory in Game 6 at STAPLES Center, sending the series back to Chicago.

Chicago led 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, but Kings defenseman Alec Martinez wound up with the biggest moment when his wrist shot from the left point line deflected off Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy and went over goalie Corey Crawford's shoulder for a 5-4 victory that sent the Kings to the 2014 Cup Final.

"That was probably one of the biggest goals in LA Kings history," said then-associate coach John Stevens.

Video: 2014 Round 3, Game 7: Martinez in OT puts LA in Final

"Any kid that's picked up a hockey stick in his driveway has played out that scenario in his mind and has scored that goals," Martinez said. "It's definitely something I'll remember for a long time."

It was the Kings third Game 7 of the playoffs.

Video: 50 Greatest Moments - Game 7 Magic

"Just the way the game was back and forth, and overtime, coming back from leads. It was a fun game to play in," said Dustin Brown, whose team went on to win its second championship in three seasons by defeating the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final. "Game 7 was probably one of the more memorable games; it's definitely the most memorable game I've been a part of and probably one of the more memorable games of the decade."

The same can be said of the series.

In the runup to the unveiling of the NHL First and Second All-Decade Teams on Jan. 24 (3:30 p.m. on NBCSN), the NHL will be announcing its best plays, moments, events, coaches and team of the 2010s.

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