The Los Angeles Kings, the defending Stanley Cup champions, advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 2-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The home team won and scored first in every game in the series.
Both teams were outstanding on defense and kept it a nail-biting game for any spectator. There was no scoring in the first period, and the Sharks outshot the Kings 5-3–the lowest shots on goal by two teams this playoff season.
The Kings offense woke up in the second period. Justin Williams scored a power play goal at 4:11 and just three minutes later scored on a wrist shot to give the Kings a 2-0 lead. These were his first goals since game 4 of the first round. He almost had a hat trick, but Sharks goalie Antti Niemi saved his next shot. Williams has publically admitted his line’s less than superb performance in the series, but he has scored nine of his playoff points in four Game 7s.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick only faced 25 shots, but made spectacular saves. The only goal he gave up was to Dan Boyle 5:26 in the third period. It was a good thing he regained his composure because the Sharks would not give up and put enormous pressure on Quick with two minutes left in the period. Thirteen of the 25 Quick faced occurred in the third period. He faced and stopped three fast shots in the last 90 seconds to help the Kings win.
The Kings will find out their opponent in the conference finals when the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings face off in their Game 7 on Wednesday.