Of course it was Justin Williams. It had to be him.
Less than 24 hours after the madness that was the conclusion of the Sharks-Golden Knights series, hockey fans were treated to another Game 7 overtime thriller and it was none other than Mr. Game 7 who came through in the clutch yet again as the Carolina Hurricanes upset the defending champion Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Williams set up Brock McGinn’s double-OT winner in the third-longest Game 7 in NHL history. The 37-year-old now has seven goals and eight assists in nine career Game 7 appearances. Those 15 points from Williams, who was named a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award earlier in the day, are an NHL record.
The Hurricanes will now move on to face the New York Islanders in a second-round matchup few predicted we’d see. Carolina was one of five lower seeds to advance and for the first time in NHL history none of the division winners made it out of the first round.
Hockey fans were quick to heap praise onto Williams and the upstart Hurricanes after Wednesday’s game, but talk quickly turned to what the official Stanley Cup Playoffs bracket looks like at the moment.
Here are some of the more memorable reactions to the game and first round as a whole.