LOS ANGELES -- The faces will be the same although some will be rearranged, so to speak, for Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
The Kings stuck with their new look at the morning skate, with captain Dustin Brown dropped to the third line and Kyle Clifford on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Wednesday that Clifford might not stay with the top line, but for now it appears he will -- at least at puck drop.
How will Clifford mesh with Kopitar and Williams?
"Ask me at the end of 10:15 [Pacific time]," Sutter said. "Or later."
Sutter said it wasn't really about Clifford so much as the need to get better play from all his forwards. The Brown-Kopitar-Williams line has two points in the series, which prompted a change.
McLellan said he didn't know if it was an advantage to see an opponent make changes.
"It's probably best to answer that later on in the series," McLellan said. "We looked at our lineup after two games and wondered if we needed to move some people around. Sometimes injuries dictate that. You guys don't know what's going in our room as far as injuries and bumps and bruises. We don't know what's going on in theirs. Sometimes minutes are cut back … because guys are hurt. We really don't know what's going through either of the locker rooms, and I'm only worried about mine right now."
Sutter seemed worried about Dustin Penner because he answered before a reporter could finish his question about the left wing.
"We need a bigger, heavier game out of Dustin Penner," Sutter said. "Very simple."
Sutter also gave an update on Jarret Stoll, saying the center rode a stationary bike at the team's practice facility. The Kings have not disclosed the nature of Stoll's injury but it is believed to be a concussion from an illegal hit by Raffi Torres in Game 1. Torres was suspended for the remainder of the series by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
Sutter alluded to it when he said, "It is that protocol. There's that progress if it's good today."
Here are the lineups each team likely will use for Game 5:
Suspended: Raffi Torres
Injured: Willie Mitchell (knee)
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