Kings frantically rework their Game 5 lines

April 23, 2011, 7:21 pm
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Ray Ratto

The Kings put their lines in a hat and rejiggered three of them in a frantic attempt to save themselves, and the final adjustment was confirmed this morning when head coach Terry Murray put Dustin Penner and Jarret Stoll on the fourth line with Kevin Westgarth, and Alexei Ponikarovsky was scratched. Ponikarovskys replacement is Scott Parse, who play left wing on the top line with Justin Williams on the right and Michal Handzus in the middle.The decision to load the fourth line with Stoll and Penner, whose disappointing series has matched his disappointing season in L.A., seems to be an attempt to get enough balance to force San Jose coach Todd McLellan to use his mostly ethereal fourth line more.I just think weve been out of sync, Murray said. San Jose has three of the best lines in hockey, and they can play whatever way you want. They can play whatever way they want. Were a four-line hockey team, and I just want to see us get back to what we do. I mean, the last two games, our puck management, the turnovers in the neutral zone where we give the puck right to them, our defensive zone coverage . . . thats not us. Thats not who we are. The goal by Joe Thornton (in Game 4, which ended L.A.s rally from 3-0 down), hes completely alone in front of the net. Weve never done in that in the three years (Murray has been the coach).We just have get back to the things we know we do well.

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