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MOLLER REPLACES O'SULLIVAN TONIGHT

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings

The Kings held a brief morning skate before returning to the lockerroom where head coach Terry Murray held meetings with individual players as the Kings prepare to play host to the Dallas Stars tonight at STAPLES Center.



The Kings enter the game seven points back of Edmonton, Nashville and Anaheim which are in a three-way tie for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Kings are six points behind Dallas, which sits in 10th place in the Standings.

"We win some games, we could be back in the playoff hunt," defenseman Denis Gauthier said. "All of these games are must win. We have to win the first game of this homestand and I believe we have to win all three of them to get some momentum going. You are trying to catch up this time a year and all the teams we are chasing are playing each other and gaining points, so it’s tough. We are a few points behind but we are not out of reach and we can still make it if we go on a run here.

"We have enough to do it, we just have to go out and do it."

NEW ACQUISITION SET TO ARRIVE
Justin Williams, whom the Kings acquired yesterday, is expected to join the team tonight. Williams is currently on IR due to a broken hand and is expected to miss roughly two more weeks.

LAKings.com’s Mike Kalinowski will attempt to create a podcast with the newest member of the Kings, so stay tuned for that.

Speaking of the trade, Patrick O’Sullivan spoke about the trade on Edmontonoilers.com.

GAUTHIER HAPPY TO STAY
One of the Kings UFAs that was sweating out the trade deadline was very happy to stay in Los Angeles.

Denis Gauthier, an unrestricted free agent after this season, is looking forward to finishing out the season in LA and maybe beyond.

"The last couple of days with all the rumors coming out, I never heard my name going anywhere, which I think is worse, when you don’t expect anything, it usually happens," Gauthier said. "I was very nervous. Each of the last six years, the deadline has made me nervous. I have a family with three kids and school…it was very nerve wracking.

"I am thrilled to be here, I have been saying all along that I like this team and I like where we are going. I like the dressing room, I am very comfortable here and I want to continue to go to battle with these guys."

MOLLER RETURNS
Oscar Moller returned to the Kings lineup at Columbus and recorded 14:08 TOI, three shots and tallied a goal. The goal lifted his totals to 7-7=14 in 32 games with the Kings while recording 2-3=5 in his eight games with Manchester during his two-week conditioning stint.

"I had to get my legs back in Manchester. I felt really good the other night in Columbus," Moller said. "I had a lot of jump. It was good to get a goal in the first game back, playing well offensively and defensively. It felt really good."

Moller will replace the departed O'Sullivan in the lineup.

MOVE TO WING WORKS FOR CLICHE
Down at Manchester, Marc-Andre Cliche, a Kings prospect obtained in the Sean Avery trade in 2007, had the best game of his pro career last night vs. Springfield after making the move from center to right wing. The result: the first Gordie Howe Hat trick and the first three-point game of his pro career, tallying 2-1=3 to lead the Monarchs to a 5-1 win over the Springfield Falcons…more.

Cliche, who suffered a shoulder injury during training camp, returned to the ice on Feb. 6, scoring 2-1=3 in his first 10 games back…he doubled that total last night. Also of note from Manchester, defenseman Joe Piskula moved to forward (a la Peter Harrold), as the Monarchs dressed seven defenseman vs. the Falcons.

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