Neither the Kings nor the Chicago Blackhawks had a morning skate this morning, with the Kings — per usual with back-to-back road games — having a team meal and meeting at the hotel this morning. Here’s what Terry Murray said today about some of the storylines entering tonight’s game, starting with Brad Richardson, who will return tonight after missing four games with an upper-body injury…
MURRAY: “I’m going to play him. I talked to him, just a few minutes ago, before our meeting. He’s been skating for about four days and he feels good. He feels very comfortable getting into the lineup and contributing tonight, so I will play him.”
As previously posted, Richardson is likely to replace Oscar Moller in the lineup. Moller had two assists last night against Nashville.
MURRAY: “I know he had a couple points there last night, but I’m going to make that change and get Richie going again. I’m not real sure what it’s going to end up looking like here, as far as the line combinations. Obviously the only area of concern would be on the right side with Stoll and Smytty, so I’m just going to kind of mess around with that a little here this afternoon.”
Question: Were you able to talk to Marco Sturm about the possibility of playing on Tuesday?
MURRAY: “It’s uncertain. When you got through a couple of injuries like that, it’s now a matter of you making a decision, yourself, that, `OK, I feel good. I’m ready, I’m confident that I can get out and get playing,’ and he still has to cross that threshold.”
Question: Safe to say that Thursday’s game is looking more realistic for him?
MURRAY: “We’ll get through practice tomorrow, and just kind of take it a day at a time with it. I think, definitely, he wants to get into the lineup at home against Edmonton, but we’ll see how it is after practice tomorrow.”
Question: Will you go with the same defensive pairs tonight?
MURRAY: “As far as pairs, whenever you get going in the game, that changes, obviously. I was a little concerned about Marty [Alec Martinez], because he blocked that shot, from Weber, who teed it up pretty good. It caught him, thank goodness, on the outside of the glove. He didn’t turn his hand to try to catch it or knock it down. It was on the outside padding. But he did get an X-ray after the game. We wanted to be certain on that one, and he’s fine. He’s got a bruise, but everything came out OK.”