Reports: Gagne to return to Kings lineup
By Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent
LOS ANGELES -- Simon Gagne could make a surprise return for the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
Several media outlets, including TSN and the Los Angeles Times, have reported that Gagne is expected to be in the lineup when the Kings play the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center. It would be Gagne’s first game since he suffered a concussion Dec. 26 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Darren Dreger of TSN reported on Twitter that Gagne would play, likely in place of Brad Richardson, in a surprising development. Richardson is believed to be healthy and the Kings also have Kyle Clifford available, but L.A. could be looking for a scoring boost from Gagne, a two-time 40-goal scorer.
The Kings' power play is 6-for-77 in the playoffs and hasn't scored in five games. Gagne has 79 power-play goals to his credit in 761 career regular-season games, but had not scored one in his 34 appearances with the Kings this season before the injury. He did have seven goals and 17 points in those 31 games, though.
Sutter said before the Final began that Gagne is available to play, but he indicated that it would only be in an emergency situation, considering Gagne has missed so much time.
Gagne has been practicing with the Kings since May 25.
Not only does Gagne have the chance to insert some more offense into the lineup, he provides even more veteran leadership. Gagne has played in 105 Stanley Cup Playoff games, scoring 59 points. He went to the Stanley Cup Final with Philadelphia in 2010, losing to the Blackhawks in Game 6.