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At the Rink blog

Greene to return to Kings' lineup against Coyotes

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 3:13 PM

By Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Greene to return to Kings' lineup against Coyotes

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two straight one-goal losses have prompted the Los Angeles Kings to tweak their lineup.

It appears that defenseman Matt Greene will be inserted Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes (10:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-CA). Greene came off with the regulars at the morning skate while defenseman Jake Muzzin stayed out as an extra with captain Dustin Brown, although Muzzin took rushes with usual partner Drew Doughty and others.

Greene has been scratched in eight straight games and last played Feb. 26 as coach Darryl Sutter opted for the more offensive-minded Alec Martinez. Greene would give Los Angeles another physical element and another player to use on the penalty kill.

Muzzin has struggled with consistency and had at least one costly lapse Saturday when Anaheim Ducks forward Matt Beleskey spun past him to begin a possession that led to a goal in a 2-1 loss.

It also appears that Brown will miss a second straight game because of illness and a lower-body injury. Brown's reduced time on the penalty kill has left the Kings distributing that time to other players, including forward Tyler Toffoli.

"Me and Tanner [Pearson, forward] killed last year and I think we're smart enough guys to know what we're supposed to do and the position that we're supposed to be in," Toffoli said. "We've got to make sure we don't get caught cheating or taking a little short cut. You've got to make you're in the right spot all the time so you can be out there in other situations during the game."

Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice, meaning he'll likely be the starter Monday. A win would be his 171st and tie him with Rogatien Vachon for the most in club history.

The Coyotes, who skated Monday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, can move past the idle Dallas Stars for the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by picking up at least one point.

Goaltender Mike Smith sat out the morning skate, which means he'll likely be in goal Monday. In his place goaltender coach Sean Burke manned one of the nets opposite backup goalie Thomas Greiss.

Injured forwards Martin Hanzal (lower body) and Martin Erat (upper body) took part in the skate but likely won't play Monday.

Here are the expected lineups for both teams:

COYOTES

Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Radim Vrbata

Brandon McMillan - Mike Ribeiro - Shane Doan

Lauri Korpikoski - Jeff Halpern - David Moss

Rob Klinkhammer - Kyle Chipchura - Paul Bissonnette

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Chris Summers - Michael Stone

Mike Smith

Thomas Greiss

Injured: Martin Hanzal (lower body), Martin Erat (upper body), David Schlemko (foot)

Scratched: Andy Miele, Brandon Gormley

KINGS

Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter

Tanner Pearson - Jarret Stoll - Tyler Toffoli

Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Jordan Nolan

Willie Mitchell - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov

Matt Greene - Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Injured: Dustin Brown (illness/lower body)

Scratched: Jake Muzzin

Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness