Still the Kings of Game 7s

Chicago launched 41 shots at Jonathan Quick, who had his own struggles, allowing a weird bouncing goal from Patrick Sharp just 12 seconds after the Kings had tied the score in the first period, but who rebounded to make just enough of the tough saves to give his team a chance to come through.

With 5.6 seconds left in regulation, for instance, Quick was able to get his left pad on an Andrew Shaw chance from the left side with Patrick Kane on the doorstep.

"You look back through the series, and save percentage obviously is an important stat for goaltenders, but I think it goes unsaid [that] there's certain saves that Jon Quick makes that changes the outcome of games," Brown said. "He might give up four but make two saves he shouldn't have made that change the outlook of a game. That was probably one of them at the end of the third; that's why I think he's one of the best goalies regardless of what his numbers are this postseason. He's confident in himself. We're confident in him."

This isn't to suggest that Crawford was the sole reason the Blackhawks didn't advance. Guys such as Marian Hossa, who had just three assists in the series, and Bryan Bickell, who seemed to crumble under the weight of his new contract as the playoffs went along, also struggled to produce in a timely fashion.

Those are the fine lines that separate great teams.

"Well, it was just like Game 5, the overtime, a lot of chances back and forth," Chicago winger Ben Smith said. "A pretty high pace and, you know, unfortunately for us they got that first bounce and found a way to bury one on us.

"It stings right now, obviously. It's hard to believe that it just came to an end like that, but at some point we'll look back and be proud of this group and know that there are a lot of good years left and relight our fire here for years to come."

In the final accounting, the Kings' depth and inexhaustible will to win carried them into NHL history as they became the first team to win three straight seven-game series on the road.

On this night, they got goals from five players and 10 Kings recorded points.

Of course, you knew that Justin Williams, now 7-0 in Game 7s with seven goals and seven assists in those games, would be in the middle of the action with a goal of his own as well as an assist on the overtime winner.

"Really wouldn't have meant anything if we didn't come out with a victory," he said after.

"The story is how we were able to come back and how resilient we were, how awesome this series was to play and be a part of. It was just fitting. It ended in Game 7 in an overtime."

The game marked the third time in the series that the Blackhawks scored first but ended up losing. Twice it happened at home. But the Kings insisted that, even when they trailed early and the United Center appeared to be shaking on its foundations, they would not go out so easily.

"I mean, games have their own storylines. Every single game does. Every series does," Williams said. "Obviously we're looking around after being down 2-0, saying, 'This wasn't it for us, it wasn't going to end this way.'

"Heck, we've battled back so many times this year, so many times so far in these playoffs. We said, 'Why not again today?' Total team effort. Every single guy gave everything they got. I think the emotion at the end of the game spoke to itself."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...