Justin Williams had gone eight games without a goal, and that was enough.

Williams, the Los Angeles Kings right winger, scored the first two goals of a pressurized Game 7 Tuesday night that sent the Kings on their way to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks and a date with either Chicago or Detroit in the Western Conference finals.

"I felt like I could have had three or four goals tonight," said Williams, 31, who now has 19 career playoff goals. "I had quite a few opportunities. But I'll take the two."

The triumph was the Kings' sixth consecutive playoff series victory going back to last year and kept alive their hopes to become the first team to successfully defend a Stanley Cup title since the Detroit Red Wings won in 1997 and 1998.

Every game in this series had been won by the home team, so the Kings had that going for them.

Then, early in the second period, after a great save by Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, the Kings took another advantage that has been decisive in this series. They scored first.

In the previous six games, the team that scored first won the game, so when Williams punched in a rebound on a power play 4:11 into the second period for a 1-0 lead, the home team was feeling good.

"I don't think he (San Jose goalie Antti Niemi) saw the puck," Williams said. "I was able to whack, whack, whack and it went in."

The Kings were feeling even better three minutes later, when Williams scored on a 3-on-2 rush off a great pass from Anze Kopitar to make it 2-0.

"A great play by Kopy," Williams said.

When the Kings won their first Stanley Cup title last year, they sailed to a 16-4 record and needed more than five games in a series only once, in a six-game Finals triumph against the New Jersey Devils.

This postseason, however, has been a struggle by comparison. They lost the first two games to St. Louis before winning that series in six games, and they lost all three of the games played in San Jose in this series.

At Staples Center, though, they are now 7-0 in the playoffs, with an overall home winning streak of 14 games.