The band is getting back together.
Well, at least two-thirds of it.
Based on line rushes at Thursday’s morning skate at Staples Center, it appears as though Kings captain Dustin Brown and center Anze Kopitar will be reunited for Game 4 against the Sharks on Tuesday night.
They were a fixture, along with winger Justin Williams, during the Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2012, and a frequent partnership during many of their years with the Kings. There is a slight wrinkle, however, as Marian Gaborik was with them on Thursday morning. Williams was with left wing Dwight King on a line centered by Jarret Stoll.
“For me, I’ve played on and off with him the majority of his career,” Brown said. “Probably more so than not. I know how he plays. He knows how I play. The way his game has developed over the last few years, his puck possession, it allows me to get to the net and be that guy that cleans up all the trash he creates.
Brown and Kopitar were together the first nine games of the season and the majority of the first two months before Brown was shifted to the third line with Stoll.
“We’re in a tough situation,” Brown said of the San Jose Sharks’ 3-0 series lead. “But again, it’s still an opportunity to get back on track. We have to. At the end of the day, we all understand what’s at stake. It’s just an opportunity.
“We’ve been struggling as a group. Just switching a couple of guys around, slotting guys. At this point it’s do-or-die, so go with it.
Brown has no points in three games and Williams is still looking for his first point of the series. Kopitar, the Kings' leading scorer in the playoffs, has three assists and no goals and Gabork has scored once.
Said Kings Coach Darryl Sutter: “I hope he [Brown] gives a little bit of size and power to that line. When we play against [Joe] Thornton, we’ve had trouble with the size of [Brent] Burns and Thornton, quite honestly. We’ve talked to the players and coaches about very much staying [with] seven defensemen, 11 forwards, so we need guys moving around."
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