May 5, 2012 1:30 pm

Kings turn to veterans late in games

This isn’t baseball, but in a way, the Kings try to utilize a set of closers. In most situations, defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell aren’t paired together, but at critical times, Darryl Sutter does put the two veteran, physical stay-at-home defensemen on the ice together. He does it, regularly, after the Kings score a goal — to help calm things down amid excitement, no doubt — and he regularly does it near the ends of games in which the Kings are holding narrow leads. In Game 3, with 1:19 remaining and with a faceoff in the Kings’ zone, Greene and Mitchell went out for approximately 40 seconds. Greene took a simple approach when asked about his late-game pairing…

GREENE: “You go wherever they tell you to go. That’s about it. If they call your name, you hop out there.’’

Question: But the two of you know why you’re out there…

GREENE: “It’s definitely not to score goals, if I’m out there. It’s hopefully just to shut (it) down and eat up some clock, and that’s about it.’’

Question: You do have a point in all three games in this series…

GREENE: “Yeah, that’s an accident.’’

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