SAN JOSE - One day after returning to his regular spot at right wing on the fourth line for practice, Adam Burish received the news Sunday from San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan he was hoping to hear. Burish is back in the lineup.
Burish hasn't played since breaking his right hand in Game 4 of the Sharks sweep of the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
But he'll be in the lineup Sunday night for Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion. The Sharks trail 3-2 in the series and face an elimination game for the first time in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"The plan is I'm going to play," Burish said. "Unless something changes. Unless I eat some bad chicken."
"I think that Adam and [Desjardins] have been two of our better penalty killers," McLellan said. "Throughout the year we've been able to automatically go to that pair at any given time. He's a right-handed guy in the faceoff circle, which helps take some of the pressure off Joe Pavelski and some of the minutes off him in that situation.
"He's a veteran player who's won a Stanley Cup [with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010] and has played in this situation before. That fourth line hasn't had that type of presence in this series yet. He can help the other two getting through some of those moments."
Burish said he plans to play with emotion and energy, like he always does. He's not worried about crossing the line.
"That's probably a challenge I have every time I play," Burish said. "So it's probably no different other than it just being a bigger game. It will be fine. I've played in big games before. I've played in games that are important like this before. I know what to do. I know what I'm doing. But will I be excited? Heck yeah, I'll be excited.
"I've been wanting to play for the last two weeks. It sucked not being able to play and having to watch and not being able to help these guys. It will be fun being back out there."
Burish said he can't wait to take his first shift since May 7.
"The first shift will be the most fun," he said. "I'm not worried about controlling emotion. We want to have emotion in a game like this. That's what you need to have. Everybody's going to have to play with a lot of emotion and some attitude if you want to be successful."
The Sharks held a team meeting Sunday morning at HP Pavilion along with an optional skate, with just a handful of players taking part.
Only four Kings players, including injured center Jarret Stoll (concussion) were at HP Sunday morning. Stoll skated for the third straight day but, as expected, won't play in Game 6.
"The player has a concussion, which is a brain injury," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "We require 110 percent [recovery] before the player plays. That makes it pretty clear. This will be the third day that Stoll has skated. He skated around in circles. He has a long ways to go from playing a game."
Stoll was injured in Game 1 on a hit by Sharks wing Raffi Torres. After that hit, Torres was suspended for the remainder of the series, but Sutter repeated his initial contention that the Kings suffered the bigger loss in Stoll.
"He [Torres] is more of a situation player. You take a center out or you take a winger out that plays the same amount of minutes, I guarantee the center has more impact in your lineup," Sutter said. "Clearly. Because they play more situations. They take key faceoffs, they kill penalties, they play power play. I'm sure that they miss Raffi, too, in their own way. But it's a significant difference in position. The easiest place to plug players is on the wings."
Here's how the lineups could look Sunday night when the Sharks face the Kings: