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(Tuesday, May 28th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 2, San Jose 1
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Justin Williams isn't intimidated by the immense pressure that comes with playing in a Game 7. Rather, he has continuously excelled in do-or-die situations.
Williams scored both Los Angeles goals and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves as the Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.
The home team won all seven games in this tightly contested all-California series.
Slava Voynov had two assists for the Kings, who have won 14 straight at Staples Center and eight straight home playoff games dating to last year's Cup clincher.
Los Angeles will next face the survivor of the other West semifinal between Chicago and Detroit. Those teams also will settle things with a Game 7 on Wednesday night.
"Both Detroit and Chicago are going to be very challenging. We have a lot to prepare for," Quick said.
Williams participated in his fourth career win-or-go-home contest, and Tuesday's production now gives him five goals and four assists in those games.
"Goals are tough to come by, it just so happened I was able to get a couple tonight," Williams said. "I think I could have had a few more also. Sometimes the puck bounces your way. Certainly glad to help out."
The 31-year-old right wing struck twice in the second period before Dan Boyle solved Quick at the 5:26 mark of the third period. The San Jose defenseman beat the Los Angeles goaltender on the blocker side with a slap shot from the left point.
Quick, however, came up with his biggest save to keep the game tied. The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner was down on his back after turning away Marc-Edouard Vlasic's point shot. The rebound landed on the stick of a wide- open Joe Pavelski, whose shot nestled in Quick's oversized glove, leaving the Sharks forward in a state of astonishment with 5:04 to play.
With time being an enemy, San Jose pulled netminder Antti Niemi, but the Kings neutralized the Sharks' attack to keep their title defense alive.
"We battled hard to get where we were," Sharks forward Logan Couture said. "We made some changes and played a good first round then forced, I think the best team in the league, to seven games and almost beat them in their building. It's tough to take."
Los Angeles got an early power play in the second period when Brent Burns was whistled for interference in the LA zone. Voynov broke his stick on a one- timer from the blueline, but the puck managed to slide below the icing line and carom off the end boards. Williams took a couple of whacks at the puck before shoveling it over the right pad of Niemi, who was trying to seal off the left post, 4:11 into the stanza.
"When I look at the game tonight, they got a power-play goal that we didn't get, and we didn't give them much time on it. And it was a lucky one, when you break the stick, the timing of that shot fools everybody including the goaltender," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.
Moments after a Couture deflection nearly wound up in the Los Angeles net, Williams finished off a 3-on-2 rush by scoring in the left circle off a feed from Anze Kopitar. Niemi went to the splits, but the puck sailed past his right skate at 7:08.
"I certainly enjoy pressure situations, I know everyone in this dressing room does," Williams said. "We pride ourselves on being a team that, push come to shove, we're going to get it done."
Niemi did rob Williams of a hat trick later in the second period on another Kings power play, pushing across to get his right pad on a one-timer from a similar spot on the ice.
The Kings played their first Game 7 at home since 1989. They are now 4-4 all- time in Game 7s, while San Jose's record fell to 5-3 ... The home team has won 16 of the clubs' past 17 meetings in the last two seasons ... Sharks forward Scott Gomez played in the 10th Game 7 of his career ... Niemi stopped 16 shots ... Boyle played in his 100th career playoff game ... San Jose was 0-for-2 on the power play.
05/29 01:20:06 ET
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