LOS ANGELES — It’s not easy to shake off the rust after missing a month of hockey.
Reilly Smith has found that out, as the Golden Knights forward has struggled to regain his timing after missing 15 games with an upper-body injury. He has played in three games since his return, including the first two Stanley Cup playoff games against the Los Angeles Kings.
Smith assisted on Alex Tuch’s power-play goal Friday in Game 2 and played 32 minutes, 44 seconds in a 2-1 double-overtime win at T-Mobile Arena.
“I think I’m getting better every day,” Smith said. “When you’re off for a long time, it’s tough to get back to your peak positioning with the puck and without the puck.”
Knights coach Gerard Gallant, whose team has a 2-0 series lead entering Game 3 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Staples Center, said he isn’t worried.
“He’s getting close to 100 percent, he’s working hard and he’s playing real good hockey,” Gallant said. “Sometimes it takes a little longer to get your timing back, but he’ll be fine.”
Perron getting closer
Forward David Perron skated Saturday at City National Arena and was optimistic that he will play in the series. Perron has not played since March 26 after sustaining an upper-body injury.
“Every day, I feel a little better,” he said.
Gallant said he didn’t know Perron’s status for Game 3, but Perron made the trip.
Quick sets record
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick set a team record for most saves in a game with 54 in Game 2. He broke his record of 51 set in Game 5 of the 2011 Western Conference quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks.
Friday’s game, which lasted 95:23, was the longest in Kings history, breaking the record of 94:43 from their championship-clinching Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers.
Hits keep on coming
There were 136 hits in Game 2 — 80 for the Kings and 56 for the Knights.
Knights forward Will Carrier led all players with 11 hits. Knights forward Tomas Tatar and Kings defenseman Oscar Fantenberg were credited with eight apiece.
There has been 129:49 of 5-on-5 hockey played, and the Knights have held the Kings scoreless. Los Angeles’ only goal in the series was on the power play, when Paul Ladue scored in the second period of Game 2.
The Knights have two goals in 5-on-5, but both were game winners — Shea Theodore’s in Game 1 and Erik Haula’s in the second overtime of Game 2.
Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t seeing a lot of action during the two overtimes Friday, so he decided to work on his dance moves during stoppages of play while the music was blaring over the PA system.
“I didn’t have many shots, either, so I just wanted to stay loose, keep my mind going a bit,” Fleury said Saturday. “Whatever works.
“I’m just into the game. I’m like the worst dancer ever, too.”