After suffering an open-ice hit from San Jose forward Raffi Torres in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll skated on Friday for the first time since the collision.
The hit came with just 58 seconds remaining in the second period. Torres was assessed a two-minute charging penalty while Stoll went straight to the dressing room and did not return.
Torres was suspended for the duration of the Sharks' playoff series against Los Angeles. League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan explained that the hit involved illegal contact to the head.
"Rather than hit Stoll through the core of his body, Torres takes a route that makes Stoll’s head the principal point of contact," said Shanahan.
While Stoll's return to the ice is an encouraging sign for the Kings, head coach Darryl Sutter does not expect the 30-year-old forward to be back in the lineup any time soon.
“It’s basically, OK, he rode the bike, had a certain heart rate for eight minutes, so it’s really not that big a deal. So this morning he went and skated for 15 [minutes], so then you just evaluate again tomorrow morning and go from there. So that means there’s still significant, long ways to go,” said Sutter.
The Sharks and Kings will face off in San Jose for Game 6 on Sunday. Los Angeles can advance to the Western Conference finals with a win.