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April 12, 2011 3:45 pm

Westgarth possible for Game 1?

Assuming that Justin Williams is able to return to the Kings’ lineup for Game 1, it’s only natural that Kevin Westgarth will be the healthy scratch. Right? After all, Westgarth averaged less than three minutes of ice time in the Kings’ final three regular-season games, and the need for an “enforcer” in the playoffs is greatly reduced. Terry Murray, though, stopped short of saying Westgarth would come out of the lineup, and even indicated that Westgarth might play at the start of the series. In last season’s first-round series against Vancouver, Raitis Ivanans played less than six minutes in Game 1 and then didn’t make an appearance for the rest of the series. Is it possible that the same thing could happen with Westgarth? Murray talked about Westgarth, his development and his potential for playoff action…

MURRAY: “He’s not just that loaded gun coming off the bench. He’s skating. He’s skating as good as I’ve ever seen him skate, and I’ve seen him skate from the first day he ever came out of college, to Flyers development camp. He and his brother came to that one. I remember what I saw and what I’m seeing today. His game has improved dramatically. So I want to give him kudos for that. He has worked very hard this year to get to where he is right now, with the adjustment to the NHL level and the speed and puck-handling. It’s getting better. Now, when you get into the playoffs, is the role of the tough guy there? Maybe early. There’s always stuff happening, when everybody wants to set the tone and tempo for a series, so maybe early. Then, as you move on it probably becomes very limited.”

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