As noted earlier, Brad Richardson is set to return to the Kings’ lineup tomorrow and make his series debut. Richardson underwent an appendectomy last Monday but made it through a full-team practice today after three days of conditioning skating. Richardson is likely to play left wing on the Kings’ fourth line, alongside center Colin Fraser and right winger Jordan Nolan.
RICHARDSON: “I feel good. I think I’ve skated three or four days, so I feel pretty good. Today was obviously the hardest I’ve went. I felt pretty good. I felt like I had my speed so, yeah, I’m ready to go.’’
Question: Obviously you didn’t want this to happen, but in terms of your recovery, this was probably a best-case scenario…
RICHARDSON: “Yeah, you never want anything like that to happen obviously, right before playoffs, but I think it was probably pretty much the speediest recovery I could wish for. Just over a week. I think that’s pretty good. So I’m thankful for the doctor, who did a really good job.’’
Question: And the timing is good, with Clifford not being able to play…
RICHARDSON: “You never want to see him get hurt. It’s been a physical series and hopefully he’s back soon.’’
Asked about Richardson’s status for Game 4, Darryl Sutter said, “We’ll see tomorrow, but he is cleared for full activity. This was his first day. He’d have to have a setback.’’ Clearly, Sutter is hoping Richardson can step in and give the fourth line a boost. Sutter likes to roll four lines, but Andrei Loktionov, who filled in for Clifford previously, played 4 minutes, 32 seconds, in Game 2 and 3:45 in Game 3.
SUTTER: “We’ve used way too short of a bench. Not too often do you get up three-nothing in a series with as short a bench as we have used.’’