For the Kings, the path through the Western Conference has been daunting. They’ve fought off elimination six times -- four times against San Jose and twice against the Ducks, only now to be dealing with the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
“We’ve had to face the three toughest teams in the whole Western Conference," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said after Monday's morning skate at Staples Center. "It’s not the time to give ourselves a pat on the back or anything like that, but we’ve done a good job getting past the first two and I think our toughest challenge yet is this Chicago Blackhawks team."
Game 4 is at Staples Center on Monday night and the Kings lead the best-of-seven-game series, 2-1. The way the Kings have been playing has allowed injured defenseman Robyn Regehr to take more time to make sure everything is OK with his knee before he returns. He skated a bit on Sunday and Monday but there is no timetable for his return.
“They both have lots of experience at the NHL level,” said Regehr of Matt Greene and Jeff Schultz, who have stepped in at different times after Regehr went out.
“I think Jeff has played around 400 [NHL] games or something like that. I know he had a tough year, being in Manchester all year and not getting a chance to come up here. I know he did a really great job in stepping in right there in the second round against Anaheim and being solid.
“Matt struggled with injuries this year and it was a tough year with him that way. Again he was able to come in near the end of the year, get some games under his belt and come in when needed. He’s been really solid for us, so it’s been great to see.”
Regehr injured his knee in Game 1 of the Anaheim series.
“I can’t put a timeline on it,” he said of when he would be back playing. “It just depends on if things keep going along well, we can gauge that. All of a sudden if there’s a day or two that something happens or I take a step backward, that date will then change, I really don’t know.
"I’ve been making steps forward this whole time. So far, I’m really hoping to avoid any sort of regression.”