CHICAGO -- Even though the health of Mike Richards -- will he or won't he play? -- dominated the news out of the Kings' camp in the hours before Game 5 of their Western Conference finals playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, there were other noteworthy developments.
Struggling Kings center Anze Kopitar, who had been dropped to the third line, was reunited with his usual linemates Justin Williams and Dustin Brown, according to the morning line rushes. Jarret Stoll had been centering Williams and Brown on the No. 1 line, but he dropped down to the third line with Dwight King and Trevor Lewis.
The home team gets the last line change and that plays into some of the tinkering as the Kings, who trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, are facing elimination.
"We don't get the change we want here [in Chicago]," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said. "You can't change on the fly. That's a big part of it. It's really got nothing to do with Kopi. Kopi has been as good as their best centermen in the series when you look at it.
"It's got nothing to do with Kopi. It's who Kopi plays with and who they're on the ice against."
"San Jose didn't really have the strongest third and fourth line," Doughty said. "They had great first two lines. This team, even their third and fourth line has some pretty good players on it. But they haven't been the ones doing the damage -- it's been the first and second line. We need to really key on those top guys if we want to win this series."
The Kings have been uncommonly mistake-prone against the Blackhawks.
"They have forwards who can sense when a turnover is going to happen," Doughty sad. "It's tough to defend." Doughty said if the Kings "don't minimize turnovers," they're in serious trouble.
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