One of the story lines coming out of last night’s game was the matchup of the lines centered by Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler and the Kings’ Mike Richards, with most people coming away most impressed with Richards’ game — he had one goal and two assists — and with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault saying today that he wasn’t sure he liked the matchup. As the home coach, with the final change, Vigneault can get the matchup he would like going into a faceoff, so will Vigneault look to change? After practice today, Vigneault said, “Obviously we need to have an answer for Kopitar’s line — they were really effective — and we need an answer for Penner. We have to have an answer for Richards, who played one of the best games since he’s been in L.A.”
There was little argument that Richards had one of his best games with the Kings. Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty said that with the playoffs underway, they expect the best from Richards.
BROWN: “He’s been known, throughout his career, to play big in big games. I think he showed that last night. Playing against Mike, even going back to when we played against each other (when Richards was in Philadelphia), he’s not a fun guy to play against. He has a little bit of that `rat’ mentality, but he also has that skill, that killer instinct. … You look back, throughout his career, and he’s not the biggest guy but he’s pretty physical and he delivers some big-time hits.”
DOUGHTY: “He’s a big-time player, and I think that’s one of the reasons why Dean Lombardi got him over the summer, is because he’s so good in those pressure situations. He’s a leader, and last night he showed that. He was great defensively, great offensively and he made some really big hits at key times.”