ST. LOUIS — With Matt Greene apparently unable to play in the Kings’ playoff opener because of an undisclosed injury, the Kings will lose some experience on defense.
Keaton Ellerby, who is expected to replace Greene, has played only one NHL playoff game. Jake Muzzin has not played in any Stanley Cup playoff games. Greene has played in 50 postseason contests.
Center Jarret Stoll, one of the Kings’ playoff veterans after having played 55 games, said he’d tell the playoff newbies to pay attention to detail because a small play can turn out to have great significance in postseason play.
“It’s the same game. It’s the same rules, the same ice surface out there, just no shootouts,” he said Tuesday after the Kings’ morning skate at Scottrade Center. “Little things are so key. Everything is magnified now in the playoffs. One bad penalty, one bad turnover, one key penalty kill or power-play goal, all those things mean so much.”
Stoll also said good communication will be crucial.
“Talking on the ice helps a lot,” he said. “That’s a no-brainer but especially in the playoffs in loud buildings where the atmosphere gets ramped up that much more, you’ve got to be talking out there.”
Stoll will again center for Dwight King on the left and Trevor Lewis on the right, a trio that was effective and productive throughout the Kings’ Stanley Cup run a year ago. King emerged as the surprise goal scorer with five, which ranked him behind only the eight goals produced by proven scorers Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter.
Who will be this season’s Dwight King?
“Trevor Lewis,” Stoll said. “He’s got the skill, he’s got the shot, he’s got the speed. Just a matter of not only our line but every line coming together and ramping it up an extra notch or two.
“It’s going to be a battle. There’s not going to be much open ice out there. We’ve got to find it and work for it and work for your opportunities. It’s going to be a physical series, for sure, and we have to get on their defense — just as I’m sure they’re saying the same thing about us. I think Trevor and Kinger and guys like that have good shots and they’re strong on the puck and can create scoring chances that way.”
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