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Stoll staying on Kings' top line for Game 4

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 3:18 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / Blackhawks-Kings series blog

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Stoll staying on Kings' top line for Game 4

LOS ANGELES -- Jarret Stoll was good enough as the Los Angeles Kings' top-line center in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final that he will find himself again in between Dustin Brown and Justin Williams at the start of Game 4 Thursday at Staples Center against the Chicago Blackhawks (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Stoll played 28 shifts totaling more than 17 minutes and was a plus-1 with two shots on goal in the Kings' 3-1 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday. It was the most he played and the most effective he's been in three games since returning from a concussion that cost him the final six games of the conference semifinals against the San Jose Sharks.

"That's the best I felt since I came back for sure," Stoll said. "I definitely wasn't happy with my Game 2 and a lot happier with my Game 3, but we know we have to be even better than we were in Game 3 to get a win here in Game 4."

Stoll said his job on the first line is the same as it was when he was on the third line, typically between Dwight King and Trevor Lewis. The only difference is Brown and Williams are more skilled and demand the puck more.

"Those guys like to get in on the forecheck and cause havoc," Stoll said of Brown and Williams. "They work hard, work smart. They're big-game players too. I just have to do a job in the defensive zone, get them the puck wide and spend some time in the offensive zone.

"They're straight-line guys and they know the situations when you've got to get pucks in deep and when you can try to make a little extra play here or there. I'm not going to do something fancy."

Anze Kopitar will remain on the third line, between King and Lewis. Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he wants Kopitar to play on the third line because it gets him away from having to face Chicago's top-six group of forwards, particularly captain Jonathan Toews.

"We just moved [Kopitar] into a quieter role, that's all," Sutter said. "[Kopitar] still played 20 minutes the other night."

Here is what the Kings lineup looked like in their morning skate Thursday:

Dustin Brown - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams

Dustin Penner - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Dwight King - Anze Kopitar - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Brad Richardson

Robyn Regehr - Drew Doughty

Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov

Jake Muzzin - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Keaton Ellerby, Anthony Stewart, Alec Martinez, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Linden Vey, Tanner Pearson, Jordan Nolan

Injured: Mike Richards (concussion)

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres