Los Angeles, CA
Justin Williams netted two goals as the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings advanced to the Western Conference final with a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 at Staples Center.
Jonathan Quick tallied 25 shots for the Kings, who extended their home winning streak to a franchise-record 14 games, thanks to their first Game 7 win since Wayne Gretzky's famous hat trick in the 1993 conference finals.
The Kings will face either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings in the best-of-seven conference final.
The Kings will open in Chicago if the Blackhawks complete their comeback from a 3-1 series deficit but will host the first two games if Detroit wins in their Game 7 showdown Wednesday.
"Hope for three overtimes tomorrow," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said when asked about his thoughts for the Blackhawks-Red Wings game.
Dan Boyle delivered the lone goal while Antti Niemi recorded 16 saves for the Sharks, who outshot the Kings, 26-18, but failed to break Quick's defense in the third period.
"We made one more mistake than they did," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said, "and we couldn't get one more puck past Quick."
Williams said Quick made the difference as the Sharks poured on the pressure in the final minutes.
"He made some awesome saves to preserve the lead there," Williams said. "We kind of sat back in the third period there, but we got big goals when we needed them."
Williams opened the scoring 4:11 into the second period during a power play on the Kings' first shot on goal in nearly 19 minutes.
Slava Voynov's shot missed wide left but Niemi was unable to cover it at the post, leaving Williams free to score past defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun.
Williams made it 2-0 at 7:08 when he received a pass from Anze Kopitar and snapped it past Niemi.
Boyle scored for San Jose on a screened slap shot at 5:26 of the third period but Quick was perfect after that, finishing with a trio of saves in the final 90 seconds to seal the win.
Justin Williams Nets Two Goals as Kings Advance to West Finals
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