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Kings Notebook (Oct. 20)

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Scott Parse, injured since Sept. 22, started skating and shooting on Tuesday.  He now wears number 21.

EL SEGUNDO -- After nearly a month, the news is finally good for Scott Parse.

Parse injured his groin during the Kings’ first preseason game, on Sept. 22, and except for a brief spin a couple weeks ago, Parse has been unable to skate or practice.

Progress has been made, though. Parse skated briefly before the Kings’ practice on Tuesday, then joined his teammates for the full morning skate on Wednesday, looking more confident on his skates and going through a wide range of shooting drills.

The Kings host Carolina tonight at STAPLES Center, then leave for a five-game road trip. Parse will accompany the team on the trip, but his return date remains unknown.

``Parse is feeling good,’’ Kings coach Terry Murray said Wednesday morning. ``He skated yesterday and now he's out there again today, shooting some pucks. It's very encouraging. We'll just have to go through a few days of practice and see how he comes out of it. If everything stays positive, we'll keep pushing hard and not set a time, but get him into that game conditioning and get him ready to go down the road.’’

Parse had 11 goals and 13 assists in 59 games as a rookie last season and, before his injury, was slotted for a high-profile role as the Kings’ second-line left winger.

In other injury news, Matt Greene, who is recovering from July shoulder surgery, is scheduled to see a team doctor tonight and could be cleared to play.

Greene will also join the team on the road trip, and Murray has said it is likely that Greene will be back in the lineup sometime during the trip.

Jonathan Bernier will get his second start of the season tonight, and his first shot at victory. Bernier had a solid effort in his season debut on Oct. 10, when he allowed two goals in a loss at Calgary, and Bernier will make his ninth NHL start tonight.

Jonathan Quick is scheduled to be back in goal Thursday night at Phoenix, and while Bernier received a significant amount of preseason publicity -- coming off a season in which he was the AHL’s top goalie -- Murray has made his goalie hierarchy clear.

``I've had meetings with the goaltenders about that, and I've certainly been talking about it quite a bit,’’ Murray said. ``The comfort, for me, is that Jonathan Bernier knows that Quick is the No. 1 guy. They're here to work together, to play for the L.A. Kings and help us win hockey games. So there's a clear understanding on that, and as we move forward, it's going to be Quick playing the majority of the games.

``I'm not looking for competition. I'm looking for support. I'm looking for working as a group and as a pair to hep the hockey team be a good hockey club. So I'm not concerned about that. They're good people, a lot of character in the locker room, good, solid guys with great leadership, and we'll just keep moving forward as a hockey club.’’

During last season, and particularly in the playoffs, Drew Doughty showed himself capable of handling a huge amount of ice time. Three times during that six-game series, Doughty played in excess of 28 minutes, including a high of 32:56 in Game 2.

This season, Doughty played 29:19 in the season opener -- a shootout win over Vancouver -- but his ice time has been reduced in every game since, down to 21:48 in last Friday’s victory over Vancouver.

``I think part of it is that we want to get a good look at (Jake) Muzzin,’’ Murray said. ``Matt Greene is out with the injury, and (Muzzin) is the player we put in to get ice time. It's important to give him a lot of minutes in important situations. He's on the power play and he's actually done a very good job for us. We've been pleased with that, so we're trying to encourage it and keep it going.

``We're very aware that Jack (Johnson) and Drew are players that we're going to rely on very heavily. Their minutes, I'm sure, as we get going here, will increase. I'd like to see them up close to that 25-, 27-minute average over the course of the year. I'm sure that we'll get there.’’
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