Though the Kings’ alignment was adjusted as Game 1 evolved, there were no changes to the lines or defensive pairings used at the outset of Game 1 when the team practiced at Toyota Sports Center on Saturday prior to its flight to San Jose.
A drill that involved line rushes at the start of practice saw groupings of Gaborik-Kopitar-Williams, King-Richards-Carter, Toffoli-Stoll-Brown and Clifford-Lewis-Nolan, and defensive pairings of Muzzin-Doughty, Regehr-Voynov and Mitchell-Martinez. Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey and Matt Greene appeared to be used as extras.
A firmer indication of the lines and players the Kings plan on using during Game 2 will be learned from Sunday’s morning skate.
A few notes:
-I’ve received several questions on Twitter as to whether the Kings have considered reuniting the Pearson-Carter-Toffoli line, which saw a good amount of even strength ice time while Mike Richards skated with Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis late in the season. It’s not likely to happen early in the series when the Kings don’t have the benefit of having the last change, which could potentially result in the rookies seeing the ice in less advantageous situations against the Joe Thornton line. Darryl Sutter is more apt to roll four lines than to preoccupy himself with certain match-ups, but if we were to see the deployment of Pearson and/or Vey, and the reunion of Pearson-Carter-Toffoli at any point, it would likely be when the series shifts back to Staples Center and the Kings had the benefit of the last line change.
-Congratulations, Kyle Clifford:
Congrats to Kyle and Paige Clifford on birth of son Brody Hudson Clifford at 8:18 pm last night. Dad says everyone is well.
— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) April 19, 2014