April 16, 2011 9:40 am

Kings like Williams’ `dig-in attitude’

Justin Williams exceeded all reasonable expectations in Game 1 when, after missing the final nine games with a dislocated shoulder, Williams returned and had one goal, one assist and a team-high six shots on goal and played close to 21 minutes in the Kings’ overtime loss to San Jose. Now, Williams will need to maintain that energy and effectiveness, and he will be playing with a new center, as Trevor Lewis replaces the suspended Jarret Stoll. Terry Murray talked about what Williams brings to the Kings, and about Williams’ effort in Game 1…

MURRAY: “I think he brings energy and he brings a real good attitude to the team, whenever you get a veteran player coming back after three weeks of being out with the shoulder problem, rehabbing, working hard every day. He gets rewarded for the work he put into it, by scoring and making a great play on the other goal. I think that’s a great example. It’s great for our team. It’s good for the young players on the team to be able to see that kind of a dig-in attitude. The playoffs are the most important time of the year, and it really emphasizes that. It’s, again, something that we can look back at, a couple years from now, and say, `This was really good stuff, what Williams brought to our game.”’

Question: Were you surprised at how much he was able to contribute in Game 1?

MURRAY: “I don’t know if I was surprised, but I certainly was very pleased with it. He’s been playing well for us all year long, as one of the top point-producers on the team, and he’s been a great puck-possession guy. He can make plays. He sees the ice. He can razzle-dazzle a little, to lose coverage and just make things happen. When he told me he was back to 100 percent, ready to play, wanting to play, I did expect that he would bring almost 100 percent of his game back to the game.”

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