NHL playoffs: Kings edge Sharks in Game 7 to advance
Los Angeles • Justin Williams scored two goals in the second period, and the Los Angeles Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 on Tuesday night.
Jonathan Quick made 25 saves as the defending Stanley Cup champions finished off this agonizingly even series with their 14th consecutive home victory over the past two months, including seven straight in the postseason.
The home team won all seven games in this thrilling all-California series, and the fifth-seeded Kings barely rode their home-ice advantage to victory in their first potential elimination game in the last two years.
Antti Niemi stopped 16 shots, and Dan Boyle scored early in the third period for the Sharks, who fell just short of their third trip to the conference finals in four years.
The Kings will face Chicago or Detroit when they attempt to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the third time. The Blackhawks host the Red Wings in Game 7 on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles has won eight straight home playoff games dating to last season's Stanley Cup clincher, but this one might have been the toughest. San Jose pressed the action throughout the third period after Williams' back-to-back goals put the Sharks in a mid-game hole, but Quick and the Kings' defense hung on for a win in Los Angeles' first Game 7 at home since 1989.
Williams scored on a power-play tap-in and a one-timer 2:57 apart early in the second, putting the Kings on top to stay. The veteran wing had an eight-game, goal-scoring drought, but the two-time Stanley Cup winner has a knack for Game 7 heroics, scoring nine points in his four career appearances in the decisive game.
Los Angeles 2, San Jose 1
Kings win series 4-3
• Detroit at Chicago,6 p.m., NBCSN
Series tied 3-3