LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Williams scored an early goal, and the Los Angeles Kings led the New York Rangers 1-0 after the first period of Game 5 in the Stanley Cup finals on Friday night.
Jonathan Quick made six saves as the Kings attempted to wrap up their second Stanley Cup title in three years on home ice.
Los Angeles got another big-game goal from Williams, who put the Kings ahead just 6:04 into Game 5 after linemates Dwight King and Jarret Stoll applied pressure on Henrik Lundqvist, who made 40 saves in the Rangers' victory in Game 4.
Williams came up behind the scrum and slid the puck right underneath a sprawling Lundqvist for his ninth goal of an outstanding postseason.
The Kings had fallen behind 2-0 to begin three of the first four games in this series, so their fans vocally welcomed their first lead in three games at Staples Center, which was filled with raucous chants of "Go Kings Go!" while both teams were still in their dressing rooms.
After fighting through three straight seven-game series to emerge from the tough Western Conference, the Kings won the first three games of the finals, starting with consecutive overtime victories at Staples Center.
New York staved off elimination with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden, earning another cross-country trip.
Game 5 was the Kings' 26th playoff game this spring, matching the NHL record for the longest postseason run. Los Angeles has played 64 playoff games over the last three years, setting a league record.
The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only NHL team to win the Stanley Cup after falling behind 3-0 in the finals. New York is attempting to become just the fourth of 26 teams facing that deficit even to force a sixth game.
The Rangers already know such a comeback is possible, however. The Kings pulled it off in the first round, rallying from 3-0 down to beat San Jose in a Game 7 rout.
The Kings led 3-0 in the Cup finals in 2012 before the New Jersey Devils won two straight, but Los Angeles closed it out at home in Game 6.