The Kings and the San Jose Sharks were expected to make changes to their lineups for Game 3 of their second-round playoff series at 6 p.m. tonight at HP Pavilion. The Kings led the best-of-7 series 2-0 after winning the first two games at Staples Center.
Tanner Pearson, a rookie who has yet to play in an NHL game, skated on the Kings’ fourth line with Brad Richardson and Colin Fraser during the morning skate. It also appeared defenseman Keaton Ellerby would replace Alec Martinez for Game 3.
For the Sharks, Martin Havlat told Sharks coach Todd McLellan he was ready to play after sitting out because of an injury. Havlat could give the Sharks a boost after Raffi Torres was suspended for the rest of the series for his hit on the Kings’ Jarret Stoll in Game 1.
Meanwhile, the league announced it fined the Sharks $100,000 for comments made Friday by San Jose general manager Doug Wilson about Torres’ suspension. Wilson questioned the league’s decision to ban Torres for the rest of the series.
“It is abundantly clear that this was a clean hockey hit,” Wilson said in a statement released by the club Friday. “As noted by the NHL, Raffi’s initial point of contact was a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on an opponent who was playing the puck. He did not leave his feet or elevate, he kept his shoulder tucked and elbow down at his side, and he was gliding – not skating or charging.”
Stoll suffered a head injury and is sidelined indefinitely. Torres was suspended for the fourth time in his career, making him a repeat offender. Last season while playing for the Phoenix Coyotes, he drew a 25-game suspension for an illegal hit on Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks during the playoffs. It was later reduced to 21 games.