Right wing Marian Gaborik was back in the Kings’ lineup Saturday for Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center. Defenseman Alec Martinez was out of the lineup after an abbreviated return to it Thursday for Game 1.
Or so it seemed.
Gaborik skated on a line with center Anze Kopitar and left wing Milan Lucic during the Kings’ morning stake at Staples Center. Kings coach Darryl Sutter later said Gaborik’s first game since spraining his right knee Feb. 12 against the New York Rangers would be a coach’s decision at game time.
“He’ll go through warmup and he’ll declare himself,” Sutter said of Gaborik, who had 12 goals and 22 points in 54 games when he was injured in the game at Madison Square Garden. “He’s been medically cleared, so it becomes a coach’s decision.”
Gaborik was not immediately available for comment.
Martinez, who has an unspecified injury, didn’t skate with his teammates and there was no locker stall set up for him inside the Kings’ dressing room. It appeared Jamie McBain would take his place and make his playoff debut after playing 345 regular-season games in the NHL.
“It’s still the same game,” McBain said, who yielded to Martinez for Game 1 after filling in for him for the final four games of the regular season. “There might be a little bit more physicality, but at the end of the day, it’s still the same game.”