Which wingers will step up?
Who will win the battle of the wingers in Game 2 between the Kings and the St. Louis Blues? Yesterday in practice, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock swapped his top-six wingers, as former second-line wingers Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen moved up to skate with center David Backes, while second-line center Patrik Berglund skated with wingers David Perron and T.J. Oshie. It’s a look the Blues have gone to before, but Hitchcock didn’t publicly say whether he would stay with it tonight. As for the Kings, Darryl Sutter called on his wingers to be better. The Kings got a good game from Dustin Penner, who scored a goal, made a great pass on Slava Voynov’s goal and played a solid all-around game as the second-line left winger.
SUTTER: “He has to do that for us, with our left side and the lack of experience there. He’s the logical guy. It’s not so much production. It’s just being able to match up. They want to play Backes against Kopi, and we’re fine with that, if they want to continue to do that. So that means Richie [Mike Richards] is going to get Berglund. That’s pretty good players, McDonald and Steen, on the wings with experience (in Game 1), and guys that play a 200-foot game. So that’s Dustin’s challenge.’’
SUTTER: “It’s a challenge for a lot of our players to do that on a consistent basis. We need to get a lot more out of the wingers, period. To have success (in Game 2), our wingers are going to have to be a lot better than they were last night.’’