Kings to face Ducks: 'This is playoff hockey now,' Ryan Smyth says
With the Kings having lost seven of their last 10 games -- including the first three in a seven-game homestand that continues Thursday against the Ducks -- and barely clinging to eighth place in the West, Smyth offered a realistic appraisal of the team's state.
"This is playoff hockey now. ... Let's cut right down to it and say this is playoffs now because these points are just as important as at the end of the year," he said. "For us to be successful we can't have mental lapses. We have to play a full 60 minutes, shift by shift, period by period, and the end result will take care of itself.
"If everybody does their job correctly and right then you're going to win your fair share."
The Kings did get some good news: An MRI on Matt Greene's lower-body injury did not show serious damage. He's still likely to be out about two weeks, but Coach Terry Murray said it could have been worse.
"It was the best scenario possible," Murray said. "He has the green light to get into the off-ice workouts. He can ride the bike. He can continue with that part of it. He's going to be able to get onto the ice and do flow skating."
Defenseman Peter Harrold will play Thursday in place of Alec Martinez, and the lines will be reconfigured yet again, putting Smyth on the left with Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds on the top line.
More later at www.latimes.com/sports
-- Helene Elliott