Richards still recovering from Bolland’s blast
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org June 4, 2013 11:56PM
Brandon Saad, Anze Kopitar
KINGS 3, HAWKS 1
Kings 1 1 1 — 3
Blackhawks 0 1 0 — 1
First Period—1, Los Angeles, Williams 6 (Voynov, Scuderi), 3:21. Penalties—Kopitar, LA (tripping), 6:42; Sharp, HAWKS (roughing), 14:03; Williams, LA (roughing), 14:03; Sharp, HAWKS (slashing), 17:32.
Second Period—2, Los Angeles, Voynov 5 (Toffoli, Carter), 6:37. 3, HAWKS , Bickell 7, 19:26. Penalties—Oduya, HAWKS (interference), 2:59; Keith, HAWKS , double minor (high-sticking), 7:58.
Third Period—4, Los Angeles, King 1 (Carter, Greene), 19:32 (en). Penalties—Kruger, HAWKS (high-sticking), 1:52; Brown, LA (interference), 3:43.
Shots on Goal—HAWKS 7-3-10—20. Los Angeles 8-9-11—28.
Power-play opportunities—HAWKS 0 of 2; Los Angeles 0 of 5.
Goalies—HAWKS , Crawford 10-5-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Los Angeles, Quick 9-7-0 (20-19).
Referees—Stephen Walkom, Eric Furlatt. Linesmen—Brad Kovachik, Shane Heyer.
A—18,477 (18,118). T—2:29.
Updated: June 5, 2013 12:23AM
LOS ANGELES — It’s not a matter of whether Kings center Mike Richards wants to play or not. It’s whether he can. And on Tuesday, he still couldn’t.
“If it’s just about Mike Richards making the decision, Mike Richards is playing tonight,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said with a smile before Game 3. “You got guys that don’t want to play and you got guys that want to play. Mike Richards is a guy that wants to play.”
Richards suffered an apparent concussion after getting hit in the head by Blackhawks center Dave Bolland late in the third period of Game 1. He got up slowly, looked a bit dazed, and hasn’t played since. Richards, a talented two-way center, was the Kings’ leading playoff scorer with two goals and eight assists in 14 games.
“He adds a different dimension for their team,” Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “He’s a huge part of their game. He’s not a big guy, but he plays big. He has a big heart. You can see that. He plays tough every shift. Great passer, great shooter. Obviously for us as defensemen, he’s one less threat out there on the ice. But they’ve got good players, another forward stepping in the last game had a goal and an assist.”
That was 21-year-old rookie Tyler Toffoli, playing in just his 19th NHL game.
“They’re a fast team,” Toffoli said. “I just try to work as hard as I can, get to the spots when I could. I thought I did a pretty good job.”
The Hawks signed Finnish goalie Antti Raanta to a one-year contract on Monday. Raanta was the MVP of the regular season and playoffs in Finland, posting a 21-10-11 record, a 1.85 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. The 24-year-old could contend for the Hawks’ backup job next season, as Ray Emery will be an unrestricted free agent and likely will command a high price on the open market after his 17-1-0 season.
“We’ll address that later,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “I know they’re excited about him. There were a lot of people in on him, we were fortunate to get him.”
The Hawks regulars did not hold a morning skate Tuesday, staying behind at their hotel in Beverly Hills while the scratches skated at Staples Center. Quenneville cited the early start, and the Hawks were glad to get some time away from the rink after a long travel day Monday.
“I kind of like it,” Hjalmarsson said. “It’s nice. It’s been a lot of hockey here. Back-to-back, obviously, and travel days. You just try to be mentally ready when the puck drops.”
Stephen Walkom, whose penalty call on Brandon Saad wiped out Hjalmarsson’s goal with 1:47 left in Game 7 against Detroit, was a referee for Tuesday’s game.