It will be one year ago Sunday since the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in the 2013 Western Conference Final.

For most of the Kings, that was the low point of what has been an incredible three-year run. For Willie Mitchell, it was something different. It was the end of a lost season, one in which Mitchell did not play a single game because of two knee surgeries.

"Yeah, it is tough. Personally, I just disconnected from it," Mitchell said. "I didn't even watch a lot of the playoff games because it is like sticking a knife in you.

"We've all played hockey since we were kids and dreamed of playing in the Stanley Cup Final and winning the Stanley Cup. We have an awesome team around here. When you're not able to do that and you want to do that, it is really out of your control."

Mitchell returned to the Kings this season for games like the one he played Saturday night. Los Angeles defeated the New York Rangers 5-4 in double overtime of Game 2 in the Stanley Cup Final, and the Kings moved within two victories of claiming the Cup for a second time in three seasons.

The 37-year-old defenseman logged 34:14 of ice time, which was the third-most on the team and the most Mitchell had played since the 2012 Western Conference Final-clinching game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Mitchell scored his first goal of the postseason, and took the shot in double overtime which captain Dustin Brown deflected past New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the winner.

"We missed him last year, him being out," Brown said. "It changed the dynamic of the back end. Where I think he makes a very big difference, obviously, is his defensive coverage, [on the penalty kill]. He's very hard to play against down low. You know, [Saturday] you get an added bonus with him making a difference on the offensive side of the puck. His bread and butter is down low and PK."

With the Kings trailing 3-1 in the game, Mitchell was on the ice at the end of a Los Angeles power play and his shot from the left point cut the lead to one. He stayed out after the goal, and 11 seconds later the Rangers' lead was two goals again.

The puck went behind the Kings net, and goaltender Jonathan Quick tried to settle it for Mitchell to play. When Mitchell skated by, he missed the puck on a clearing attempt and Mats Zuccarello was able to feed Derick Brassard for a one-timer before Quick knew what was happening.

"That's one me and [Quick] want to clean up," Mitchell said. "He left it and the puck sort of squirted up. Being a veteran player you go out for that shift and you go, 'OK. Big goal,' because it was clawing us back in the game, but you want to execute on the next shift and we didn't do that. Those are the ones that you don't want to give up.