LA Kings' Darryl Sutter Becomes NHL's Winningest Game 7 Head Coach

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJune 2, 2014

Los Angeles Kings' Marian Gaborik (12) gets instruction from Darryl Sutter in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 27, 2014. The Kings won 3-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

With Sunday night's Western Conference Final victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter collected his seventh career win in Game 7 of a playoffs series. As reported by NBC Los Angeles, Sutter is the NHL's first and only head coach to achieve that many Game 7 victories in Stanley Cup playoffs history.

Sutter entered Sunday's contest with a Game 7 coaching record of six wins and three losses, tied with Scotty Bowman and the late Pat Burns for the most victories in winner-takes-all games. Sutter is in his 15th season as a head coach, including his third season with the Kings, a team he led to the Stanley Cup in 2012.

The team Sutter just eliminated, the Blackhawks, gave him his first coaching position from 1992 to 1995. His other coaching stops sandwiched between Chicago and Los Angeles were with the San Jose Sharks (1997-98 to 2002-03) and the Calgary Flames (2002-03 to 2005-06).

Heading into the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, Sutter has compiled an 84-76 record in playoffs in 13 trips to the postseason, good for a .525 winning percentage.

Pat Burns went 78-71 (.523 win percentage) in the playoffs during a 14-year career that included 11 playoff appearances and a championship with the New Jersey Devils in 2003.

Despite his Game 7 success, Sutter has some work to do to catch Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman. Bowman started his coaching career in 1967, spending 30 seasons behind the bench for five different teams.  Bowman's teams made the playoffs in 28 of his 30 seasons, helping the legendary coach amass a 223-130 record and .632 winning percentage.

Bowman raised the Stanley Cup an NHL-record nine times, with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 1998 and 2002 and five times with the Montreal Canadians, including four consecutive Cups from 1976 to 1979.