RICHARDS OUT

At the Los Angeles Kings’ morning skate on Thursday, Head Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed that Mike Richards would not play in Game 4 as he continues to deal with the residual effects of what was suspected and finally revealed to be a concussion.

“He didn’t skate today so he won’t play tonight,” Sutter said. “Protocol is very clear. You’ve covered enough concussions. Surely you know the protocol.”

Richards skated for roughly 20 minutes at the team’s practice facility on Wednesday, though as is the case with concussions, there is no linear process to pinpoint when he would be cleared to play.

In his absence, Jeff Carter will shift to center and Tyler Toffoli will play on the right wing, opposite Dustin Penner, as part of a line that has accounted for seven points and a plus-eight rating combined over the last two games.

KANE ABLE?

Patrick Kane has begun to answer questions about his production in a series in which the Kings haven’t afforded him ample amounts of time and space. The star Chicago right wing who posted a 23-goal, 55-point regular season has been held in check for the final two games of the Chicago-Detroit series and the first three games of the Western Conference Finals, accounting for only one assist over that span.

Though Los Angeles hasn’t provided him the space that allows his attributes to fully flourish, Kane’s recent struggles aren’t a part of any Kings scheme to narrowly focus on one key performer, according to Matt Greene.

“I think just the more time we can spend in their zone, it’s the better for us, and that’s it. That’s the less time that they’re attacking us,” Greene said. “They’ve got a high-powered offense, and if we’re playing our game where were spending a lot of O-zone time, that’s what we want to do.”

BANK SHOT

The absence of Duncan Keith for Game 4 means that the Blackhawks will turn to 32-year-old Sheldon Brookbank, a familiar opponent who played down Interstate 5 for the last four years.

“He was in Anaheim for a while, and he’s been around,” Jarret Stoll said. “He’s an experienced guy, too. He’ll step in and I’m sure do the job.”

Brookbank isn’t going to be used to simply replace Keith, who averaged 24:44 of ice time through the playoffs and “does everything,” according to Stoll.

The absence of one of the league’s most well-rounded defensemen won’t change the way Los Angeles prepares for the game, either.

“Approach it the same way. Worry about our game plan and get ourselves going,” Greene said. “They’ve got a good team. They can fill in. They can find those minutes by committee, so we’ve just got to worry about our game and make sure that we’re ready to go.”

It was a notion reinforced by Justin Williams.

“No,” the winger answered when asked if the Kings would approach the game any differently in Keith’s absence.

“I mean, we need to win this game. No matter who’s in the lineup – obviously there’s bigger parts of teams, but together you’re a team. You play as one. They’re going to need to step up. I’m sure they’ll be talking about that. But we need to step up as well. We have a few guys out of our lineup, and we need to continue off where we left off,” Williams said.

The Blackhawks are a team that has experience in spreading defensive minutes around, according to Darryl Sutter, and should be appropriately equipped to handle the absence of its anchor.

“Chicago’s the best team in the league this year, not based on one player,” he said. “In fact, Dustin Keith’s minutes were cut back substantially this year to allow them to be a fresh team every night, and probably one of the reasons they were the best team in the league by a long shot was the fact that their defense was healthy.”

LUC HONORED

Luc Robitaille, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, will be inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame this Sunday.

The Kings President, Business Operations will be honored in the Class of 2013 during a ceremony that will be preceded by Bob Miller’s introduction. Miller, who was the first member of the Los Angeles Kings organization when he was inducted in 2011, was followed by Marcel Dionne’s induction in 2012. Both are also in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The event will take place at 5:00 pm on June 9 at the Ontario Convention Center. Other inductees include Joe Montana, Greg Louganis, Florence Griffith Joyner, John Robinson and Tony Gwynn.

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Christian Okoye, a standout at Azusa Pacific University from 1984-87, is the President of the California Sports Hall of Fame.

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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