Kings’ Richards ruled out for Game 4 vs. Chicago

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L.A. Kings center Mike Richards will miss his third consecutive Western Conference finals game on Thursday night, head coach Darryl Sutter announced.

Richards, the Kings’ second-leading scorer this postseason, hasn’t played since absorbing a big Dave Bolland hit in the series opener.

The hit knocked Richards out of Games 2 and 3, though there was some optimism from L.A. on Wednesday when he took to the ice and skated with the Black Aces.

But, it appears he’s still a ways from returning.

Richards didn’t stake at all on Thursday — Sutter said the reason was because the club was “following protocol” — so it stands to reason the 28-year-old is dealing with a concussion or concussion-like symptoms.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Kings fare without Richards in the lineup. They responded well to his absence in Game 3, scoring more than two goals for the first time in five games, and won the faceoff battle 34-24.

That last number is key, because Richards was one of the Kings’ most active faceoff men this year, taking the third-most draws on the team.