"Justin Williams might have saved the Kings in Game 7 with his two goals against the San Jose Sharks in the last round, but suddenly the savior was sounding like a sage on Monday.
"Sage … with a hint of Yogi Berra.
"It's not do-or-die tomorrow, but it is," Williams said.
"Dropping the first two games of the Western Conference finals against the Chicago Blackhawks put the Kings in a tenuous position heading into Game 3 on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
"The players weren't backing off the notion that the season is on the line. This will be their third game in four nights as the Kings try to bounce back from a forgettable 48 hours in Chicago.
"Do I feel we played a better game than in Game 1?" Williams said. "Yes, but that's what losers say."
"Said Colin Fraser: "We're certainly not making it easy on ourselves, right? I don't know, but you've got to find a way. It's the playoffs, you're playing lots of games in a short amount of time. You have to find a way to dig in."
"They will attempt to maintain their perfect playoff record at home (7-0), and extend their 14-game winning streak at Staples Center. And they might have to do so without center Mike Richards, their leading playoff scorer. He was a last-minute scratch from Game 2, dealing with "symptoms" related to a hard check from Dave Bolland in the last two minutes of Game 1.
"Kings Coach Darryl Sutter had said Richards was fine and expected him to be in the lineup for Game 2. But the pregame warmups suggested otherwise and set off an unusual scramble shortly before the puck dropped.
"That's a player you trust," Sutter said. "You know how he plays. I think once he got to the United Center [Sunday] night, he starts thinking about being a warrior, he starts going through his routine, you go through your meeting, then you go out for warmup. He knows himself."