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Ice likely to improve for Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final

June 02, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • The Kings' Colin Fraser (24) gathers the puck as teammate Alec Martinez moves into position during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The Kings' Colin Fraser (24) gathers the puck as teammate Alec Martinez… (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images )

NEWARK, N.J. -- Greetings from Prudential Arena, where the temperature and humidity inside the building on Saturday were noticeably lower than they were before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

That boded well for better conditions Saturday night for Game 2 between the Kings and New Jersey Devils than the opener on Wednesday, when the ice was mushy and the puck often took strange bounces or didn’t slide as fast or straight as it should have.

NHL ice guru Dan Craig and his crew were on hand shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday to make sure all was well after the arena had played host to concerts on two consecutive nights.

“My patient is doing well,” Craig said after the Kings’ morning skate. “The patient came in for a checkup.

“The crew did a great job. This time of year, that’s what happens with Mother Nature. That’s what she does.”

Kings forward Brad Richardson said the ice surface was “one of the worst I’ve ever played on,” but noted it was equally bad for both teams.

“It’s kind of frustrating,” said Richardson, the left wing on the Kings’ effective fourth line. “On some of the passes you’re making you’re not sure if the puck is going to roll on you or if it’s going to roll when you receive it.”

Poor ice can make teams change their game, especially late in a period.

“You want to maybe make things a little more simple, not try, if you’re on a two-on-one, to make that little pass,” Richardson said. “It just makes you more tired slugging through all the snow.”

The Kings made their morning skate optional but it was well-attended. After having two days off since their 2-1 overtime victory in Game 1, players seemed eager to get back on the ice and get their legs going. The only notable absentees were Rob Scuderi, Mike Richards and Dustin Penner.

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