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Mike Richards 'fine' after hit; Kings look for Game 2 improvement

June 02, 2013|By Helene Elliott

CHICAGO -- Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said Sunday that center Mike Richards is fine after being momentarily dazed by a hit from Chicago’s Dave Bolland on Saturday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Sutter, as usual, wouldn’t disclose his lineup. But it’s likely that Richards will play Sunday at the United Center when the Kings try to tie the series.

Sutter wouldn’t discuss the hit by Bolland late in Saturday’s game. It drew no supplementary discipline from the NHL. “It’s not an issue,” Sutter said.

Richards declined to speak to reporters after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Blackhawks, but he did walk through the team’s locker room several times. Had he displayed concussion symptoms, he probably would have been held in an off-limits training area to follow concussion-treatment protocol.

Sutter said he wanted to see better puck management from his team Sunday than he saw in Saturday’s loss.

“We were actually pretty good. We just turned pucks over. Guys were forcing the issue a little bit in the neutral zone and you can’t do that,” he said. “Their defensemen are mobile guys and it allows them to get in the play and they’re taking a lot of shots, which is the game plan of everybody when they play Jonathan Quick. Obviously, they’re going to shoot the puck from everywhere.”

Center Jarret Stoll said he experienced no ill effects after playing Saturday for the first time since he suffered a concussion in the opener of the Kings’ second-round series against San Jose. He also said he couldn’t explain the Kings’ inability to win on the road -- they’re 1-6 away from Staples Center in the postseason -- especially compared with their 10-1 road record during last year’s playoffs.

“It’s a weird thing. I don’t think you can pinpoint one or two things,” Stoll said. “It seems like our offense on the road has struggled, scoring one goal or not more than two.

“I don’t know what that is but we’ve got to find a way to win some games on the road if we want to keep our season going. We know that. We have a good chance here tonight.”

Asked what the Kings must do better in Game 2, left wing Dustin Penner said the team improved toward the end of Saturday’s game and must do that from the start and sustain it.

“They had their way with us in the first,” he said. “We’ve got to make them go back, make the [defensemen] go back, get bodies on them, get them in their own end.”

Penner also said the Kings welcomed the chance to play again Sunday.

“We get a quicker chance at redemption. Don't have time to dwell on it,” he said. “Playoffs is a time you're here to play the games. Everything else -- the media, the practices, the time between games -- you don't care for. When you're on the ice, it's the best part for us.”


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