(LOS ANGELES) — Justin Williams scored a pair of goals in the second period, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 to advance to the Western Conference finals.
The win capped off a grueling seven-game series in which the home team won every game. The fifth-seeded Kings used their home-ice advantage to put away a feisty Sharks squad.
“I certainly enjoy pressure situations,” said Williams, whose goals were 2:57 apart. “I know everyone in this dressing room does. We pride ourselves on being a team that, push comes to shove, we’re going to get it done. We’ve been through it before, and we know we can do it.”
Jonathan Quick made 25 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who won their 14th-consecutive home game over a two month span.
San Jose made the postseason for a ninth-straight year and played their hearts out, but fell just two goals short of advancing to the Conference finals.
“We thought we could come in here and steal a game,” Sharks captain Joe Thorton said. “We played our hearts out, and that’s all you can ask of each other. We had to lay it on the line in the third, and I thought we did. Jonathan Quick is just a fantastic goalie. … We were just having so much fun. It’s disappointing that it has to end, because we were really enjoying this. It’s a tough way to finish.”
The Kings will face either the Chicago Blackhawks or Detroit Red Wings for the Western Conference crown.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN