The Los Angeles Kings are headed back to the Stanley Cup Final after an overtime win in Game 7.
5 - 4 (OT) Kings win, 4-3
3 things to know
L.A.'s resilience comes through again
A month ago, the Kings were down 1-0 in Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks after erasing a 3-0 series deficit to force the final game. With backs against the wall, L.A. rattled off four unanswered goals and won the series. A month later, they faced the same situation in Chicago. Down 2-0 early in Game 7, the Kings rallied once again and put together a series of comeback goals to finish off the defending champions for good. The 2014 Cup Final-bound Kings are different than the Kings that won the Cup in 2012. They're less imposing, more prone to mistakes and get thrown on the ropes more often than not. But they always find a way to survive, no matter how deep a hole they dig for themselves. The Rangers are in for a fight.
If you have Justin Williams on your team in a Game 7 then you've got a damn good chance of winning. The Kings' winger tied the game in the first period and had a helper on the game-winning goal in overtime. He passed Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour for most Game 7 points in NHL history (14) and tied Glenn Anderson for most Game 7 goals (7). He's also making a pretty good case for the Conn Smythe Trophy. We have no idea how he managed to play in that many Game 7s in his career, but boy, does he make the most of his opportunities.
Corey Crawford and the blueline costs Chicago
Blaming Crawford for Chicago's elimination would be unfair. His defenders didn't do a good enough job of clearing both the puck and the Kings out of his crease in Game 7, and the puck was bouncing like a tennis ball on concrete at times. In fact, missed coverage and general inattentiveness led to a couple of costly goals against. (Looking at you and that wide-open Tyler Toffoli goal, Brent Seabrook.) But Crawford wasn't exactly calm in net, letting his aggression put him into dangerous situations all night. In the end, Chicago's stellar offensive output couldn't make up for the mistakes on the back end in Game 7.