SAN JOSE -- The fluke injury taking Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell out in the second period of Game 6 against the Sharks has had lingering implications for the series.
Mitchell, as expected, won't play in the decisive Game 7 on Wednesday night at SAP Center. He appeared to fall awkwardly after chasing after a loose puck and it is being called a lower-body injury.
Taking his place is veteran stay-at-home defenseman Matt Greene, who has appeared in one game of the Western Conference quarterfinal series.
"It's always fun. It’s always fun to play," Greene said. "A high-stakes game like this, I’ll just come in and try and help out."
Kings Coach Darry Sutter confirmed the moves after Wednesday's morning skate. Also, the team recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz from its minor-league affiliate in Manchester (N.H.), as something of an insurance move.
Greene's lone appearance, in Game 2, did not go well as he was a minus-four. Then again, he had plenty of company in what was the Kings' worst game of the series, a 7-2 loss to the Sharks.
Greene and the other Kings were hitting the same message about what they will need to do in Game 7. The Kings are attempting to become the fourth team in NHL history to win a series after losing the first three games.
"We just have to come out and establish our game," Greene said. "Play a good forecheck game, try to limit their chances on the rush. I think we did a good job of that in Game 5. ... Hit the repeat button from Game 5."
He was limited to 38 games during the regular season and supplanted by defenseman Alec Martinez in the lineup after the Olympic break.
"No doubt it's been a tough year," teammate Justin Williams said of Greene. "Things can change. Just like that. I'm not worried about Matt at all. I expect him to come in do what he does and hit and be physical and be the guy we know he is."