NHL

Kings' Clifford will play Game 4 vs. Sharks

05/20 2:47 PM

Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford practiced for the second day in a row Monday and will be back in the lineup for Tuesday's Game 4 against the San Jose Sharks.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford practiced for the second day in a row Monday and will be back in the lineup for Tuesday's Game 4 against the San Jose Sharks.

Clifford, who suffered an undisclosed injury against the St. Louis Blues in the first round, has missed the past four playoff games but was cleared to play after going through Monday's practice without any setbacks.

"It feels good to get back into the lineup, and playing with those guys will be a lot of fun," Clifford said. "I feel good. I worked it pretty hard today with no problems."

Clifford was skating on a line with Brad Richardson and Colin Fraser at practice Monday, and Fraser said Clifford looked like his old self again.

"Cliffy is obviously a big, physical guy, and he's got a lot of speed, too," Fraser said. "He can give us that emotional lift that maybe we could use right now. He's a guy that doesn't take a shift off, and he's hard to play against."

In San Jose on Monday, Sharks star Logan Couture did not practice, but coach Todd McLellan said the center is still a go for Tuesday. He was just giving Couture a day to rest after the 24-year-old was banged up in Game 3. Couture left the game for most of the second period after falling awkwardly into the boards but returned to scored the winner in overtime.

McLellan said the Sharks were contemplating dressing seven defensemen for Game 4, with Jason Demers a possibility to rejoin the lineup.

Meanwhile, injured winger Adam Burish (hand) skated again Monday and said while he continues to get closer to a return, he wasn't ready yet to play for Game 4.

Kings coach Daryl Sutter is tight-lipped when it comes to injuries and wouldn't confirm Clifford's return but admitted that the extra day off between Games 3 and 4 and the team's return to Los Angeles during that time may have helped Clifford's availability for the game.

"Two days allows you to get one decent practice day and obviously allows some guys to heal a little bit," Sutter said. "You asked about Cliffy, if we would have played tonight I wouldn't have had him practicing with our team, so that's the advantage you always have."

Kings defenseman Matt Greene, who played only five games this season, was back on the ice Monday but is not expected to play Tuesday night. Kings center Jarret Stoll, who suffered an upper-body injury after a hit by Sharks left wing Raffi Torres in Game 1, was not on the ice and likely won't return this series.

Torres was suspended for the series for the hit.

"Everybody that's on the ice is available," Sutter said. "At some point it will be good to have [Stoll] back."

Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun was used in this report.


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