After suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals the Los Angeles Kings need to look deep within themselves to avoid the humiliation of losing the series after being up 3-1 in the series. For the Kings to win Game 7 in Chicago they’ll need to follow the lead of “Mr. Game 7” himself Justin Williams, who has one of the most decorated resumes in NHL history in do-or-die Game 7s.
Most recently Williams opened the scoring against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Kings’ second series to help lead the team past their rivals in Orange County. Going back to his days as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers Williams has 12 points in six career Game 7s which would make even the most decorated, legendary NHL players proud. Williams has had a solid five points in six games in the series, but his track record shows a breakout Game 7 performance could be in store.
Williams’ two most notable Game 7 performances happened with two different teams on two different sides of the continent. The first was in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final when, as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes, Williams scored an empty net goal to clinch the team’s first ever Cup. In last year’s playoffs, Williams netted the Kings’ only two goals in their Game 7 win against the San Jose Sharks to lead LA to the Western Conference Finals.
While it will take a team effort to return to the Stanley Cup Final if Williams leads the way and the rest of the team follows suit. His track record speaks for itself and the Blackhawks know this, therefore the pressure will be on their defense to keep No. 14 off the scoresheet. As long as the Kings are able to play cohesively as a unit like they did in their three wins the Hawks will have their hands and Williams will be able to pad his already stellar Game 7 resume.