There a couple things we know about the Kings’ Game 5 lineup. Scott Parse is going in. Kevin Westgarth is staying in. The unit of Kyle Clifford, Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds is the only one that will remain intact. Otherwise, it’s a free-for-all. On the fourth line, it’s reasonable to assume that Terry Murray will choose from between either Jarret Stoll or Oscar Moller at center and from between either Alexei Ponikarovsky or Dustin Penner on left wing. Here’s what Murray said today about making wholesale changes…
MURRAY: “It’s not something that is an over-reaction to anything. The fact is, we’ve given up 12 goals in the last two games here at home. The goals against are self-inflicted, in my view, and we need to make a change. We need to get everybody’s attention to the detail part of the game, the checking part of the game. San Jose has a good hockey club. They have three lines that are as good as any three lines in the NHL. So if we’re going to have success against them, and whenever we do have success against them, we’re playing a solid game, everybody is on page, doing the right things with the puck, and whenever we lose possession of the puck we recover and we have good defensive posture. So that has been a breakdown many times in those 12 goals against, and I need to get their attention and we need to make some changes as a result.”
Question: Does Westgarth come out, then? Or Penner?
MURRAY: “I don’t know what it’s going to be yet, but Westgarth will not be out. He has played well. He’s playing an important role. I’ll keep him in the lineup. … I haven’t decided on what the fourth line is going to be. I’m not even going to call it the fourth line. Right now, with the way we’re set up, we need four lines playing. They need to play well and they need to play properly, the right way on the checking side of the game especially. I want to roll those lines and just play a good tempo game.”
Before Murray gave his thoughts to reporters, Penner spoke briefly and said, of today’s changes, “Every coach does that, especially when things aren’t going well.”