The legend of Mr. Game 7 grows after Kings win epic OT thriller

CHICAGO — Justin Williams should probably change his number to seven.

As it stands right now, if you divide his number in half the result would be seven. The Kings forward should never wear anything but a derivative of seven because he’s simply too masterful in Game 7 situations.

"The legend continues," joked Williams’ teammate, Jarret Stoll, Sunday night after the Kings’ Game 7 win in the Western Conference Finals. "We were giving it to him pretty good already."

In his 15-year NHL career, Williams has never lost a Game 7. Fittingly, he is 7-0. But it gets better: In seven playoff games he has seven goals and seven assists. The number on his jersey right now equals the amount of career Game 7 playoff points.

Stoll might have been joking but it is almost legendary.

"I don’t know," said Kings center Anze Kopitar. "But I want to get in on this, whatever he’s doing. I’ve got to get on that program."

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Saturday afternoon, shortly after the Kings touched down in Chicago with the series still knotted at 3-3, Williams demurred the Mr. Game 7 tag.

"I’m proud of my individual status. But the one I’m most proud is the 6-0 (in) Game 7s," he said. "I’m going to do everything in my power to make it seven."

His first-period goal, a rebound he threw top-shelf in traffic, tied the game at 2-2. He also assisted on Alec Martinez’s overtime game-winner and the legend grew.

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

But the story should also include the remarkable poise the Kings have repeatedly shown in Game 7s. Magic, allure, mystique — whatever you want to call it, the Kings are downright unbeatable in Game 7s. They’ve won three — all on the road — in the last eight weeks and as a club, are 7-4 all-time.

They feed off of contributions and players like Williams, one of 18 players without a Game 7 loss.

"The thing is with him, he likes big stages," Kopitar said. "I don’t think there is a bigger stage than Game 7 in hockey. Maybe the Cup Finals, but he’s been there, too, and he’€™s done that, too. He rises to the occasion every single time and I think we rally around him."

Drew Doughty would argue that he does it every night. He’€™s finally getting the attention he deserves every seven games.

"I can explain the way Justin Williams plays in every game," Doughty said. "He doesn’t play any different. Maybe he gets his points in Game 7 and stuff like that but he’s one of our best players every night. No one recognizes that. He works very hard, he keeps the puck, he makes great plays. He’s very underrated."

"He’s just a special player," Stoll said. "He rises to the occasion every big game, every game. He’s a leader in every aspect of the game, in the dressing room. The way he conducts himself. You guys see it every day. I can’t say enough about the kid."

The numbers don’t lie, the Kings with Williams are a sure-thing for Game 7s.