In 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Los Angeles Kings, who at the time were the defending Cup Champions, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. This year, the Kings looked to return the favor to the Blackhawks who were the defending Cup Champions, and they did. The Kings won 5-4 with an overtime goal at United Center on June 1, to advance to the Stanley Cup Final and become the Western Conference Champions for the second time in three seasons.
The Kings are the only team in NHL history to play Game 7’s in all three rounds and live to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. They came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks in round one, and they overcame the Anaheim Ducks in round two, conquering California, and ending it with a great series with the Blackhawks, who fought just as hard as they did.
The Kings mental stability was key in winning this series; overcoming late goals, battling back from odds, never loosing site, overall possession, and not giving up when they were down, was what drove them past, as coach Darryl Sutter said, “a specialty team” like the Blackhawks.
Los Angeles- Chicago
Shots 32- 41
Power Plays 0/2- 2/5
Hits 43- 28
Faceoff Wins 36- 40
Blocked Shots 12- 23
The first period started with two goals from the Blackhawks, one of which was a power play goal. Then Jeff Carter put the Kings on the board with assists to Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli. Justin Williams, Mr. Game 7, followed to tie the game with assists to Slava Voynov and Dwight King. However, the Blackhawks struck again to end the period in their favor.
The second period started with a game tying goal from Toffoli, with assists to Dwight King and Matt Greene. The period ended in the Blackhawks favor again as they lead 4-3 with a power play goal.
The third period had one goal and that was the game tying goal from Marian Gaborik to send the game to overtime, with assists from Brown and Kopitar.
During overtime the Kings were the team with more chances and it was Alec Martinez who fired it through from the blue line to make the Kings the Western Conference Champions and help them advance to the Stanley Cup Final. The assists went to Justin Williams and Matt Greene.
Mr. Game 7 himself, forward Justin Williams made history as well. He is now tied in NHL history with Glen Anderson for most Game 7 goals (7). More importantly, he now holds the record, after surpassing Doug Gilmour, for most points in a Game 7, (14) He also has a 7-0 record in game 7s.
Robyn Regehr, who has been injured since game 1 during the series with the Ducks, along with healthy scratches Jeff Schultz and Jordan Nolan, joined the Kings on ice as they celebrated their victory and captain Dustin Brown accepted the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl.
The Kings conquered California, then they conquered the West, all that is left is to conquer the East champions. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals is June 4, against the New York Rangers at STAPLES Center.Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, Hockey, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, NHL, Stanley Cup Final
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