LOS ANGELES -- Joe Pavelski will take Raffi Torres' spot, at least at the start, when the San Jose Sharks play the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal series Thursday night.
San Jose coach Todd McLellan also moved Scott Gomez up to third-line center and will insert Tim Kennedy on the fourth line. Torres was suspended by the NHL on Thursday for the remainder of the series for his hit on Jarret Stoll of the Los Angeles Kings.
"We discussed a lot of different options, and I don't know if this is written in stone by an means," McLellan said after the morning skate. "We've got to start somewhere and see where it goes. The majority of their scoring from the Kings have come from their top two lines -- eight of their 14 [goals]. The odds are that they're going to continue to have an impact in games going forward.
"We like [Pavelski] there, we think he's a responsible two-way guy, and he has an ability to help out in the faceoff circle against a [Anze] Kopitar or a [Mike] Richards for the most part, so we think that's important."
McLellan said Gomez is "doing a lot of the right things for our team right now, and he deserves to be promoted into that spot."
Kennedy played in Game 2 of the quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks. Prior to that he played 13 minutes against L.A. in the regular-season finale April 27.
"It was good to get my feet wet here and just know what kind of game they play and the style that they play," Kennedy said. "I think that last game of the season is really going to help me tonight."
Kennedy will play on a line with Bracken Kearns, his former linemate with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.
For the Kings, Brad Richardson took Stoll's place as the third-line center between Dustin Penner and Trevor Lewis. Richardson was a scratch for most of the season until March 31 and was reduced to a utility piece at center behind Stoll, Kopitar, Richards and Colin Fraser.
Stoll is out with an undisclosed injury.
"To be honest, I was discouraged a couple of times," Richardson said. "It was tough. There were some long stretches I didn't play. It was discouraging, but you just got to to kind of keep working and hopefully it turns around."
Richardson played the final 14 games and got two assists against San Jose in the regular season finale but has not played since Game 1 of the quarterfinals April 30. He said those games were key to getting back to game speed and he's worked through this latest period off ice.
"Every time we play I've been watching the games and kind of focusing on areas we can be better and kind of scouting the game," Richardson said. "The coaches keep you ready as far as in-shape wise. It's no problem getting ready for one of these games."
Defenseman Drew Doughty said he was OK from a hit by Patrick Marleau in the same Game 1 sequence as the Torres play. Doughty went to the bench gingerly but said, "It wasn't anything bad. Just a little hit."
Sutter reunited Rob Scuderi with Slava Voynov for Game 1. The two played together for most of the season until injuries and the addition of Robyn Regehr. Sutter had high praise for Tyler Toffoli, who is playing fourth line right wing and was on the ice late in Game 1.
"Why not?" Sutter said. "He's probably next to Lewie as best winger we have on boards and recognizing and feeling pressure, so why not?"
Joe Pavelski – Logan Couture – Patrick Marleau
TJ Galiardi – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
James Sheppard –Scott Gomez – Tommy Wingels
Andrew Desjardins –Tim Kennedy – Bracken Kearns
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan – Brad Stuart
Scratched: Jason Demers, Matt Tennyson
Injured: Martin Havlat (lower body), Adam Burish (hand)
Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dwight King – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner – Brad Richardson – Trevor Lewis
Jordan Nolan – Colin Fraser – Tyler Toffoli
Robyn Regehr –Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Alec Martinez
Scratched: Matt Greene, Keaton Ellerby
Injured: Jarret Stoll (undisclosed), Kyle Clifford (undisclosed), Willie Mitchell (knee)