Unless the Kings undergo a last-minute change of heart, Andrei Loktionov will make his NHL playoff debut tonight, in place of the injured Kyle Clifford on the fourth line. In the regular season, Loktionov had three goals and four assists in 39 games before he was assigned to the American Hockey League in late February. Loktionov didn’t exactly light the AHL on fire, as he finished with five goals and 15 assists in 32 games before the Kings called him up on Tuesday to replace Brad Richardson. Loktionov is obviously a very different player than Clifford, but the Kings chose Loktionov over Kevin Westgarth to play tonight. Here’s what Darryl Sutter said about his expectations for Loktionov.
SUTTER: “He’s pretty familiar with everything that he needs to do. He has played here for us for probably about six weeks after I came on. So he’s pretty familiar with the players. He’s familiar with them and he’s familiar with the system. He gives us a little bit of versatility. If Richardson would have been here, he would have played, and Lokti got called up for Richie, so Lokti plays for Richie.’’
As for Richardson, Sutter gave a brief update today. Richardson underwent an appendectomy on Monday and, according to Sutter, Richardson could be on track to get back on the ice soon.
SUTTER: “When we left, (doctors said) he could start activity in four to five days. Activity means, depending on how he feels and where we’re at.’’