Kings might have Marian Gaborik in lineup for Game 2 against the Sharks

Marian Gaborik has scored only once in his last 12 games.
(Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

If all goes well, Kings winger Marian Gaborik could be playing against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2, which would be his first action since spraining his right knee on Feb. 12.

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said on Saturday morning that Gaborik has been “medically cleared,” and the decision will be made after the pregame warmup for Game 2 between the Kings and Sharks at Staples Center.

The other piece of news: It looks like defenseman Jamie McBain will be making his NHL playoff debut, drawing in for the injured Alec Martinez. Martinez (unspecified injury) did not play in the third period of Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Sharks in Game 1.

“Jamie’s been solid for us all year whenever we put him in,” Sutter said. “If you look at last game and we go down to five [defensemen], a couple of guys with very limited playoff experience in the lineup in that game, [Luke] Schenn and Brayden [McNabb]. It definitely affected us.

“What do we expect out of Jamie? We expect him to be a really good competitor and move the puck. It he doesn’t, then we’re going to have a problem.”


It’s been a long wait for McBain to appear in a playoff game. He played with 345 regular-season games with Carolina, Buffalo and the Kings.

He was clearly excited about the opportunity.

“Absolutely. It’s something that I’ve not been able to do throughout my career so far,” McBain said. “I’m always watching and hoping that the next year is going to be the year I get the chance to do it.

“And it’s finally here. So it’s something I’ve looked forward to for a long time.”

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Sutter had a theatrical moment when it was mentioned that McBain was excited.

“Yeah I would be too,” Sutter said, smacking the lectern for emphasis. “Coach told me I wasn’t dressing for half of the [regular season] games this year and he tells me I was for the second game of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And you said all year, ‘Stay ready.’ …I would think we’d all be really excited.”

Gaborik was not available for comment after the morning skate. He took line rushes with center Anze Kopitar and winger Milan Lucic. In the regular season, Gaborik had 12 goals and 22 points.

“I’m not surprised,” said Sharks Coach Peter DeBoer. “We knew he was close and we anticipated we’d see him in the series. A world-class player. A lot of speed. We’re aware of it but it doesn’t change our game.”

Sutter was asked how much adjustments in the lineup are based on players or on the opposition.

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“I think depending on your position, obviously,” he said. “Talking about Gaborik, if that’s what you’re alluding to, injury situation, who they’re used to playing to, not so much the opponent.

“Most teams that get to this spot, obviously we have some guys banged up on the back end, so we’re just going with it, but up front, they’re familiar with each other over the course of time, and most teams that make the playoffs are running for the most part, they’re able to put four real solid lines together.”

Follow Lisa Dllman on Twitter: @reallisa


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