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For Kings, Game 3 vs. Blackhawks not do-or-die ... but it is

June 03, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings' Justin Williams carries the puck past Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya during the first period of Game 2.
Kings' Justin Williams carries the puck past Chicago Blackhawks… (Jonathan Daniel / Getty…)

Forward Justin Williams, first on the podium, had the truth-telling line summing up the last 48 hours for the Kings.

“Do I feel we played a better game than in Game 1?” Williams said. “Yes, but that’s what losers say.”

The Kings, trailing 2-0 in the Western Conference finals to Chicago, were watching plenty of film on Monday morning at their headquarters in El Segundo. There was an optional skate for some of the Kings’ reserves and media obligation for the likes of Williams, captain Dustin Brown, center Colin Fraser and Kings Coach Darryl Sutter.

Game 3 is Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The Kings will attempt to maintain their perfect playoff record at home (7-0), and they have won 14 straight games, overall, at Staples Center.
And they might have to do it without center Mike Richards, their leading playoff scorer. He was a last-minute scratch from Game 2, dealing with “symptoms” related to a hard check from Dave Bolland in the last two minutes of Game 1.

His availability, obviously, remains in question. "Whenever that may be, we’re going to need to hold the fort before then," Williams said of a Richards return.

Faltering at home in Game 3 would put the Kings in a position where they would need a historic comeback. The players weren’t backing off from the notion that the season is on the line.

“It’s not do-or-die tomorrow, but it is,” said Williams.

Said Fraser: "We’re certainly not making it easy on ourselves, right? I don't know, but you've got to find a way. It's the playoffs, you're playing lots of games in a short amount of time. You have to find a way to dig in.

"Whether you’re tired or not, you really don’t have a choice. We know we have a good team, we’ve proven we have a good team last year and this year. I think we’ve answered to the adversity we’ve had this year. And we just got to do it again."

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