It was a split-second reaction that could be tabbed a metric miracle, because with the slightest of movement, motion, or stick placement, everything could be different.
This, all just 5:24 minutes prior to Alec Martinez’s Cup-winning sequence.
For defenseman Slava Voynov, his majestic maneuver in the late stages of Game 5 of the Kings’ Stanley Cup Final series against the New York Rangers hinged on a matter of millimeters, precise timing, and stellar awareness of his surroundings in front of Jonathan Quick on the evening of June 13.
Embroiled in a double-overtime battle at STAPLES Center, Voynov deflected what was to be a clear-cut game-winning shot from the Rangers’ Rick Nash, up and over a wide open net. With the aid of his stick and a quick response, he sent Nash’s game-winning bid to the wayside.
Iron seemed to be the Rangers’ biggest foe during the overtime periods in Game 5 on the evening of June 13. New York hit a pair of posts, among a slew of golden opportunities, failing to send the series back to Madison Square Garden in New York City for a Game 6.
It was the Kings’ ‘Iron Man’, Slava Voynov, who proved to be New York’s death wish.
Voynov, who at times was chastised during the season for his performances many thought were a back-track to his first two seasons in the NHL, proved to be much more dependable and consistent to this roster than one would initially think.
Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider tabbed Voynov as the Kings’ “Iron Man”, and rightfully so. Voynov was the only player on the Kings roster to play in each and every preseason, regular season, and postseason contest – chiming in at a whopping 114 contests in a Los Angeles uniform.
With his block on Nash’s one-timed attempt, Voynov carried the Kings into the franchise’s longest game in history.
Which defenseman Alec Martinez would quickly diffuse.
The Kings’ previous longest game recorded in franchise history came when Chicago’s Patrick Kane knocked the Kings out of the postseason with a double-overtime goal with 8:20 remaining in the second overtime at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on June 8, 2013.
If you add on the five games Voynov played with Team Russia during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, the Kings’ defenseman logged a total of 119 games this season – the most of any player in the NHL during the 2013-’14 campaign.
Moments after Voynov’s heroic stick-save, the Kings clinched their second Stanley Cup Championship in three seasons.
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