Throughout the remainder of the month, LAKI will be reviewing the top 10 moments of the Los Angeles Kings season as a recurring feature entitled “I Was There.”

KingsCast recently finished a similar endeavor, complete with screen grabs, video highlights and commentary. Alex Kinkopf’s #TopTen list is recommended as a great account of the 2012-13 season.

I Was There #4: Williams in seven

Was there nervous energy where you were when you sat down to watch Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals? There certainly was in downtown Los Angeles when the Kings hosted their very first Game 7 at Staples Center and their first Game 7 at home since eliminating Edmonton at The Forum in 1989 after emerging from a 3-1 series deficit.

That energy was ratcheted up a notch following a first period that saw both the Kings and Sharks play to avoid the types of mistakes that could have major impacts in a tight series in which every game had been won by the team that had scored first.

Going into the game, the word on the street was that it would be a good thing to have Justin Williams on your side in a Game 7. He had won all three of his previous Game 7s, including the final game of the 2006-07 season in which he punctuated Carolina’s Stanley Cup-clinching game with an empty net goal. In those three games he had recorded three goals and four assists.

He scored twice on May 28. The first goal was greasy:

His second goal came on his very next shift, moments after Patrick Marleau’s Grade-A wraparound was denied by Jonathan Quick:


-courtesy KingsVision

Aesthetic beauty: The first goal “wasn’t a Picasso,” to quote Cory Schneider. For the second goal, it was very high. San Jose was in the middle of a line change that led to a Los Angeles four-on-two, allowing Slava Voynov to drop a pass between his legs to Anze Kopitar, who found Williams in the middle of the left circle. Williams controlled the puck and fired a low shot that threaded the needle between Antti Niemi’s right skate and the near post. How many inches did Niemi give Williams there? Four? Five? Stick found them.

Lasting impact: Extremely high. Los Angeles hadn’t won a Game 7 in 20 years. Jonathan Quick – continuing the trend of Kings playoff hockey – was called upon throughout the game to maintain the lead, and his save on Joe Pavelski late in the third period was also among the season’s highlights. But the impact left from this critical game was that Justin Williams supplied the margin of victory needed to defeat an in-state and divisional rival in reaching the Western Conference Final for the second consecutive season.

Previously on “I Was There”
#10: Toffoli’s first goal
#9: Quick passes Hrudey
#8: Kopitar’s goal versus Detroit
#7: Game 4 comeback over St. Louis
#6: Slava’s overtime game-winner
#5: Banner raising ceremony

KingsCast #4: St. Louis Stunner
KingsCast on Justin Williams’ Game 7 performance

 photo WILLIAMS480x640_zpsf0cb2e3d.jpg
Jeff Gross, Getty Images Sport

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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