Justin Williams plans to play
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams gave coach Terry Murray the go-head to insert him in the lineup Thursday for the opening game of the Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Sharks in San Jose.
"I'm a go for tomorrow night," Williams said after practice Wednesday at the Toyota Sports Center. "I should be in the lineup."
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Williams dislocated his right shoulder March 21 against Calgary and missed the final nine regular-season games. The injury was initially expected to sideline him three to four weeks.
Williams began practicing Monday with a harness and said he feels ready to contribute.
"Comfortable as I'll ever be and confident I can make an impact," he said.
Williams, who signed a four-year, $14.6 million contract extension in February, tied for second on the team with 57 points. His availability is much needed as the Kings lost leading scorer Anze Kopitar to a season-ending ankle injury five days after Williams was injured. The Kings scored just 11 goals in the final seven games without Williams and Kopitar.
Williams wore a non-contact jersey the last three days and Murray had not yet assigned him a line.
"That's OK," he said. "We'll find a place"
Dan Arritt covers the Kings for ESPNLosAngeles.com.