Justin Williams picks corner on OT winner, Kings win Game 1 of Stanley Cup final

Justin Williams

Game 7 hero Justin Williams struck early in the Stanley Cup final to complete yet another Kings comeback that gave Los Angeles a 1-0 series lead.

Williams, who last round passed Doug Gilmour as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer in Game 7s, does most of his damage at the end of a series. In Games 1-3 this post-season (a total of nine going into Wednesday’s game) Williams had only scored three points. But in the last four games of each series, Williams has a combined 15 points in 12 games.

But Game 1 of the Cup final was Williams’ night. He recorded an assist on a highlight reel goal from Drew Doughty that tied the game at two and sniped the OT winner with a beautiful roofer 4:36 into the extra frame.

The goal secured a 3-2 win for the Kings, even though they trailed 2-0 in the first period. After a fairly even first two periods, the Kings thoroughly dominated the third, outshooting the Rangers 20-3. Here is a visual look at the domination, from ExtraSkater.com:


It’s certainly a crushing loss for the Rangers, who were defeated the same way the Kings have defeated so many before. But was it a must-win? As long as Henrik Lundqvist is in  net, the Rangers are in the series.

And you know what they say: you haven’t really lost ground until you lose at home.

That’s the optimistic view in New York tonight.

Follow Rory on Twitter