Kings' Williams claims Conn Smythe Trophy
By Chris Ritter, NHL Contributing Editor
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Before hoisting the Stanley Cup for the third time in his career, Justin Williams had another piece of hardware to handle.
The Conn Smythe Trophy.
The Los Angeles winger scored his ninth goal of the playoffs to open the scoring Friday, as the Kings claimed their second Stanley Cup title in three years with a 3-2 double-overtime victory over the New York Rangers in Game 5 from Staples Center.
A Cup winner with Carolina in 2006 and the Kings in 2012, Williams was named the 2014 playoff MVP after posting 16 points and playing a key role in the Kings' epic run to the Finals, which saw them become the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s on the road.
"It's pretty sweet," Williams said of winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. "To get that award and to get the ovation that I got from my teammates was pretty special and emotional for me."
Williams supplied a pair of two-goal games as the Kings rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Sharks in the opening round before notching a goal and an assist in Game 7 of his squad's Western Conference semifinal victory over the Ducks.
"Things looked bleak for us," Williams said of dropping the first three games to the Sharks. "But we were able to channel our inner will. We just didn't want to go away. The term 'one at a time' certainly applied to us that series."
The man known by many as "Mr. Clutch" contributed seven points against the Chicago Blackhawks in the West Finals, including a goal and an assist in Game 7 before netting the game-winner in overtime of Game 1 in the Cup Finals.
Williams then tallied a trio of assists in the Kings' double-overtime victory over the Rangers in Game 2 and added another helper in Game 3 before capping his stellar postseason performance with the opening goal in Game 5.
In all, the 32-year-old winger totaled seven multi-point games during the 2014 playoffs and increased his career postseason point total to 78 (30 goals, 48 assists) in 115 games.
Williams contributed 18 postseason points with Carolina in 2006 before adding 15 more during the 2011-12 postseason, when he helped the Kings claim their first Stanley Cup title in their 45-year history.
"What we went through this year as opposed to 2012, the Game 7s, the backs against the wall, what we went through to get to this point is unique," Williams said. "Obviously every Stanley Cup is special in its own way, but we really had to earn this one."
And earn it they did, thanks in large part to the effort of "Mr. Clutch."
06/14 02:32:09 ET