SAN JOSE -- Greetings from San Jose, where it appears that both the
The Kings won the first two games of this series at
The change contemplated by Kings Coach
In the morning skate Pearson was part of the ever-changing fourth line. If he plays, he would be the 23rd player to appear in a playoff game for the Kings this spring, one more than they used in their
Sutter said after the skate that he hadn't decided whether he will go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards — as he did in Games 3 and 4 of the Kings' first-round series against St. Louis — or six defensemen and 12 forwards.
"If we play with 12 forwards, he'll play," Sutter said of Pearson, who was called up from Manchester with a number of other players to be part of the "black aces" practice squad.
The Sharks were expected to reinstate winger
In the Kings’ morning skate, Pearson skated on the fourth line with
Sutter said he didn't know much about Pearson but knew the 20-year-old had a good season in Manchester, where Toffoli was one of his linemates.
"With Tanner and Tyler and Keaton and all these kids, they earned that right and they get the opportunity and see how they play," Sutter said. "I think that's an important part of this, especially this year, the way the schedule has been, it's certainly helped us a lot. And I think if I was those young guys, I'd like to be given that opportunity if I'd earned the right. That's sort of how we approached it. I think it's fun for them."
It certainly will be memorable for Pearson, a 6-foot, 190-pound winger who played for Team Canada in the 2012 World Junior championships. He said he was surprised to be told a few days ago that he would skate with the regulars, instead of the spare players. He then moved up the depth chart.
"I was coming up to be a black ace, just expecting to skate with them," Pearson. "I guess anything can happen …. If you had asked me three years ago and said I'd be playing my first NHL game in three years, I would have taken it in a heartbeat, but I probably wouldn't have believed you. To see it happen so quick, it's going to be very exciting."
Fraser had some advice for his new left wing.
"He's kind of jumping into it feet-first, I think," Fraser said, smiling. "Just relax, really. It's no different than any other game. He's played enough games. He knows what's going on. Even though it's not the NHL, nothing really changes. You don't change your game now. Do what got you here and don't be nervous and just play."
Fraser did, jokingly, put a bit of pressure on the rookie. "After he scores tonight, you can come talk to me and I'll pump his tires," Fraser said.