Kings: Scott Parse to return
Kings Coach Terry Murray, trying to plug the leaks that allowed the San Jose Sharks to score 12 goals in the last two games and take a 3-1 lead in the teams’ best-of-seven playoff series, juggled his lines in practice Friday to include winger Scott Parse, who last played on Nov. 15 and soon after that underwent hip surgery.
Parse skated alongside Michal Handzus and Justin Williams on Friday. On the other lines, Ryan Smyth was on the left with Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown, and Kyle Clifford, Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds remained together.
Murray said he’s not sure about the composition of his fourth line for Saturday’s game at HP Pavilion but Kevin Westgarth will be a part of it. The Kings’ resident enforcer was one of five players wearing green jerseys Friday, along with Dustin Penner, Jarret Stoll, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Oscar Moller.
“Westgarth will not be out. He’s played well. He’s played an important role,” Murray said. “I’ll keep him in the lineup.”
Parse said he’s “good to go,” but wouldn’t say if he was surprised to see his new assignment. “You never know what the lines are going to be,” said Parse, who has quickness and some skill but began the season on injured reserve and had a goal and four points in five games before his surgery.
“I’m excited. Happy. Ready to go … 100%.”
He also said he had no problem adjusting to his linemates. “I played with them before, a little last year, some this year, so it’s fine,” he said.
Murray also said he’s taking a chance by playing Parse after so long since the winger’s last game. “You could probably say a little bit of a risk,” Murray said. “Again, you have to take all the factors into consideration and put him in a situation where you do take on a little bit of a risk but you look at the risk/reward part of it too.
“He’s a player who has been working very hard to get back at it. We tested him [Thursday]. His conditioning level is really good and I know the skill side of the game with the puck on his stick is good. He can give us some looks in the offensive zone. He can be a threat. And he’s got some speed, quickness that can match up with their speed and quickness.
“Again, a change is good sometimes and I’m hoping this one is.”
But not in net. Jonathan Quick will start again.
“No change in goal. Absolutely not,” Murray said. “Jonathan Quick’s our goaltender. He’s our No. 1 guy, period. Those goals that we’re seeing coming against us now are the result of team play. Everybody’s involved in it. He’s played good. In fact in the first period I thought they would not score a goal on him; he was that sharp, in my opinion.”
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