Blackhawks to face tough task of stopping Justin Williams

Blackhawks to face tough task of stopping Justin Williams
June 1, 2014, 11:30 am
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Nina Falcone

The numbers speak for themselves, and Justin Williams is proud of what he's been able to accomplish.

Heading into Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, the Los Angeles Kings forward is returning to familiar territory; to a situation he's thrived in before.

Williams is 6-0 in Game 7s, tallying six goals and six assists throughout those key matchups. He recorded three points in both the Kings' finales this season alone against the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.

“He’s just a big-game player,” Willie Mitchell said. “I think good players that have success in these situations are quite comfortable in it. He’s one of those players and we’re lucky to have him.”

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What Williams has been able to do in those do-or-die moments is no easy feat.

The 32-year-old has 57 points in 103 other career playoffs games and has already tallied a point in four out of the six games this series — a pretty impressive task.

Still, his Game 7 records go above and beyond those numbers. But goals and assists aside, there's one statistic he's most proud of.

"I'm proud of my individual stats. But the one I'm most proud of is the 6-0 of Game 7s," Williams said. "I'm going to do everything in my power to make it seven.

"We've had a lot of guys with success in Game 7s, it's not just me. It's very humbling, I guess, that everyone seems to want to do an interview on a Game 7. At the end of the day, I feel if I didn't get the point, someone else on our team would have and we would win those games regardless."

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Containing Williams will be a key point for the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

Yes, his teammates have also had similar success in late-round games as well, notably Jonathan Quick who's earned a 1.33 goals-against average and .957 save percentage throughout that 6-0 run.

But Williams has provided that consistency and calm in these high-pressure games for Los Angeles.

Now he and his teammates aren't thinking about the what-ifs heading into Game 7. Despite dropping the last two games to the defending champions this series, the Kings are still feeling confident that the ball is in their court.

"I think most of the guys on our team treat Game 7s as an opportunity," he said. "An opportunity to do something special, an opportunity to prove yourself, an opportunity to advance and get the better of a team that you battled with for six games.

"It's going to be no different (Sunday). We obviously have a huge bone to pick with them. We're going to leave it all out there because there's no more after that."