Dwight King, Justin Williams, Nick Leddy

PHT Morning Skate: Kings get second chance to finish off ‘Hawks


The Los Angeles Kings have yet another opportunity to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final and the Chicago Blackhawks have another opportunity to stay alive.

This time around, if they pull off a victory, it’ll mean a Game 7 back at United Center.

GAME 6: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks [Los Angeles leads series 3-2] (9:00 p.m. ET – NBCSN)

It hasn’t exactly been a goaltending showdown in the West. After watching Henrik Lundqvist and Dustin Tokarski look like world-beaters in the East, what we’ve seen out of Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick hasn’t been at all impressive.

Of course, impressions can all be altered in a game and we’ve seen enough highlight reel stops from both goalies to remind us that they can be big factors. One thing both Crawford and Quick could stand to use is a stiffer effort from their defenses.

We’ve seen great offense generated in L.A. by Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin and we saw Chicago’s defense pick things up in Game 5 with Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya, but helping stop opponents would do a lot of good. With how loose this series has been, you know it’s driving both Darryl Sutter and Joel Quenneville bonkers.

If there’s one thing the Kings desperately want to do it’s to avoid playing a Game 7 back in Chicago.

What to watch: Whether or not Kris Versteeg suits up for Chicago. Versteeg had a terrible Game 5 and found himself watching more than playing in the third period and through overtime.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?