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Kings are feeling battered as injuries stack up

Defenseman Robyn Regehr takes a puck to the head during warmups but plays. Center Mike Richards, who suffered a big hit in Game 1, ends up not being able to play. And others are shaken up.

June 02, 2013|By David Wharton, Los Angeles Times

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CHICAGO — Every team that makes it this far in the NHL playoffs is bound to suffer from bumps and bruises, if not worse, but injuries are coming at the Kings from all angles.

During warmups for Game 2 against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, defenseman Robyn Regehr took a puck to the head and needed to return to the locker room for stitches.

"First time for everything," said Regehr, who never wears a helmet before games. "Matt Greene came up and apologized. It came off his stick."

Other players — including Drew Doughty and Brad Richardson — appeared to be momentarily shaken up during a 4-2 loss that sends the Kings back to Los Angeles trailing, 2-0, in the Western Conference finals.

Center Mike Richards — who suffered a big hit at the end of Game 1 — was listed as playing, but he began to feel poorly after warmups and was scratched because of what the Kings referred to as an "upper-body injury."

Regehr was initially listed as scratched from the lineup, but that soon changed.

Midway through the second period, with the puck loose in front of the Kings' net, the defenseman suffered another misstep on a goal that was credited to Bryan Bickell and gave the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead.

"I was coming back to the net and saw the defenseman was taking a shot and I tried to get the puck rather than get his stick and I think it hit my stick and went in," Regehr said. "On that one, you've got to tie up the guy a little bit better and let Jonathan [Quick] find the puck."

Blackhawks goalie jumps in

With the score out of hand, it was no surprise that a fight broke out in the third period. But it was a little strange to see Chicago goalie Corey Crawford join the fray.

The skirmish began when the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews was knocked down and went after Kyle Clifford. Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival took on Colin Fraser.

"Johnny got hit in front of the net for no reason," Rozsival said. "I just wanted to help him out and let him know we are there."

Crawford jumped in and applied a bearhug to Clifford as the Kings' goalie, Jonathan Bernier, skated to center ice with his arms outstretched.

"I think a few of us were laughing on the bench," Chicago winger Patrick Kane said. "Looked like Bernier was going to skate down and try and fight Crawford."

Toffoli shows what he can do

Tyler Toffoli made it into the Kings' lineup Sunday and made a case for staying there.

The young forward was moved up after it became clear Richards could not play. He was on the ice for almost 13 minutes, looking like one of the team's better skaters.

More impressive, he scored the Kings' second goal, scooping the puck high over Crawford.

"It was kind of rolling a bit and I chipped it over," he said.

Toffoli scored against San Jose in the second round but had not played recently.

"He came in and showed a lot of poise, especially for not having played in a while," Dustin Penner said. "He's going to be a good player."

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