Posts Tagged ‘Justin Williams’

NHL playoffs: Kings rebound for 3-1 win over Blackhawks, trail series 2-1

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Bryan Bickell had another standout game for Chicago, but he couldn't get this shot past Jonathan Quick when it mattered.

Bryan Bickell had another great game, but couldn’t score on Jonathan Quick when it mattered. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

You know that old saying, “A change is as good as a rest”?

The Los Angeles Kings looked like a team desperate for some serious downtime in dropping the first two games of the Western Conference Finals in Chicago, and playing their third game in four nights seemed like a recipe for disaster.

But ditching the United Center for the friendly confines of the Staples Center, along with a bit of creative line juggling by coach Darryl Sutter, helped them find their legs. The loose, energized Kings reversed the whip on the Blackhawks, beating them 3-1 in Game 3 and trimming their series lead to 2-1.

This was the Kings at their best. They played the body, controlled the neutral zone, limited Chicago to just 20 shots and, finally, capitalized on their chances against Corey Crawford.

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  • Published On Jun 05, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Down 2-0, Kings face crucial Game 3 versus Blackhawks

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    Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings

    The Kings desperately need Anze Kopitar to find a way to get going offensively. (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    No team has ever won a best-of-seven series in three games, but the Los Angeles Kings know their season, and their hopes of defending their 2012 Stanley Cup, comes down to tonight’s home game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

    “Obviously it’s not do-or-die, but it is,” said Kings forward Justin Williams, channeling his inner Yogi Berra on Monday.

    A win tonight at the Staples Center, where they’re on a 14-0 run, and the Kings silence the doubters and earn a chance to even it up on Thursday night.

    Lose and Game 4 becomes a wake.

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  • Published On Jun 04, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Justin Williams leads Kings to 2-1 Game 7 win over Sharks

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    Jonathan Quick made a number of stellar saves to keep the Sharks at bay in the third period. (Chris Williams/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Los Angeles Kings forward Justin Williams had gone eight games without a goal heading into Tuesday night’s decisive battle against the San Jose Sharks. That’s probably because none of them had been a Game 7.

    The struggling sniper broke out of his funk with a dazzling performance, leading the Kings to a 2-1 win over the Sharks that kept their dreams of repeating as Stanley Cup champions alive.

    Williams has a history of making every kid’s street hockey fantasies come to life. He’s lit the lamp in each of his four career Game 7 appearances, and his five goals are the most of any active player. He also has four assists in those contests.

    “Backs against the wall. Us or them. That’s what hockey players think about when they grow up. A chance to win it for your team in a do-or-die [game],” he said on the NBC Sports Network after the win.

    Tonight, it was Williams living the dream.

    Here are some thoughts and observations from tonight’s climactic thriller:

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  • Published On May 29, 2013