Stoll was injured late in the second period of Game 1, after he was knocked to the ice on a borderline hit by Sharks forward Raffi Torres. The team has stayed mum on the details of the injury, but Stoll presumably suffered a concussion as a result of the contact to his head. Head Coach Darryl Sutter called the hit “reckless,” and labeled his center man ” day to day.”
Torres was assessed a two-minute minor for charging during the game, at the time the incident occurred. The 11-year veteran flew to New York on Wednesday for an in-person disciplinary hearing with the NHL, and faces a possible suspension for the hit in question. He will miss Game 2 while the team awaits a verdict from the league, which will likely be announced later Thursday.
Torres has previously been suspended three times and fined on numerous occasions for illegal checks, including a 21-game suspension for a reckless hit that knocked Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa out of the postseason last spring.
Stoll will be missed during his absence. He plays a heavy role on the Kings penalty killing unit, while logging important minutes as an experienced forward. His 23 hits in seven playoff games rank third on the team, and his physical nature adds defensive depth up the middle.
As for Richardson, he is expected to center the third line between Dustin Penner and Trevor Lewis, in what will be his second postseason appearance of the year. The 28-year-old recorded one shot in just over 14 minutes of ice time in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the St. Louis Blues. In the final game of the regular season, Richardson posted two assists in over 12 minutes against the Kings’ second-round opponent, the Sharks.
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