Three of the Kings’ four lines will get new looks at left wing tonight, with Andrei Loktionov joining the first line, Ryan Smyth moving to the second line and Brad Richardson moving to the fourth line. The odd man out in this scenario is Kyle Clifford, the rookie who played seven capable minutes in each of his first two NHL games. Clifford can still be returned to his junior team before his 10th NHL game (before the Kings burn a year off his contract), but Terry Murray said the move wasn’t a reflection on Clifford. Richardson has been a lineup staple, Brayden Schenn has had two strong games and Murray likes having an enforcer — Kevin Westgarth — in the lineup.
MURRAY: “I’ve been pleased with Clifford. He has played 14-plus minutes in the two games that he has played. I like what he has done. He’s getting a taste of the NHL and the pace of the game. I think he’s holding onto the puck. He’s trying to make plays. He’s taking it to the net, and he’s been involved on the gritty side of the games. It’s not a reflection of his play not being good enough. It’s just a change that is happening and, as a result, things filter down.”