In other news… Justin Williams, as expected, will be back in the Kings’ lineup tonight alongside Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth. In the 18 games that Kopitar, Smyth and Williams played together as a line, they totaled 23 goals and 38 assists. Here’s what Terry Murray said about his top line reuniting for the first time since Dec. 26…
MURRAY: “They were magical at the start of the year, the first 18 or 22 games before the injury. They were showing great chemistry and instinctive play and a lot of offensive-zone play that was happening through their cycle. Just a good feel. They had good reads. When I look at the line, back at that time, everyone was contributing, but I really enjoyed watching Williams playing the kind of game that we expected him to play, from what I’ve known of him in the past. He’s great in the deep offensive zone, puck protection, puck cycling, makes little plays in those tight spaces.
“I don’t think that chemistry is going to hit here, right away, in the first time tonight, but it’s a line I would love to see get back together as quickly as possible. That’s the reason for putting him there, because of the short time we have in order to give them an opportunity to work it out.”
Question: Would you be comfortable with Williams playing 20 minutes tonight, or will you need to watch him closely?
MURRAY: “I’m going to let him play. I think there’s some things that he has to work through, going into the game, but conditioning, intensity of play, stamina, that’s just something that you have to suck up and get through right now, as a player. There’s not a lot of practice time. Obviously I will be watching him and making sure he’s comfortable, but at the same time, I want to let him get going.”