Oscar Moller, who has not played with the Kings since Dec. 17 vs. the New York Rangers, first missing seven games playing for Team Sweden at the World Junior Championship and then missing 12 games due to a broken clavicle suffered on Dec. 31 in a 5-0 win for Sweden over Russian at the WJC, will return to the lineup tonight.
'I am really excited to get back,' Moller said, following the Kings morning skate. 'I have been ready for a while, just waiting for the coaches to say I am ready to go.'
Moller will center the Kings fourth line with Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans and forward/defenseman Peter Harrold as the Kings play host to the Calgary Flames tonight at 7 p.m.
'I am just going to go out there and have fun and play with a lot of energy,' Moller said. '[I am going to] get some hits in and just make plays.'
Moller will play in place of veteran center Derek Armstrong. The swap of centers is the lone lineup change for a team that has won four consecutive games an seven of their last eight games.
'I thought that we have been playing with really good structure most of the time and it has been working really good for us,' Moller, who traveled with the team on the Kings five-game road trip, said. 'If we stick with our system, we are going to get our chances instead of rushing our plays and hoping for chances to come. We just need to stick with what we are doing pretty well, it seams like it has been working. '
Moller, who has 13 points (6-7=13) and 14 penalty minutes in 30 games this season, was activated from injured reserve yesterday with Kings defenseman Tom Preissing being placed on IR to make room for the 20-year-old center. Preissing has missed the last four Kings games with an upper body injury and has collected seven points (3-4=7) and six penalty minutes in 22 games with the Kings this season.
Armstrong has played in 11 of the last 12 games and 29 games overall, posting 3-1=4 for the Kings this season.
JACK’S BACK: KINGS 7-1-1 SINCE JOHNSON’S RETURN
The Kings have posted a 7-1-1 mark in nine games since defenseman Jack Johnson returned from a 41-game absence on Jan. 17. Johnson has seen at least 20 minutes of TOI in seven of the nine games, potted a goal at Colorado and converted on the game-winning shootout goal at New York on Feb. 10
'I had something else in mind,' Johnson said of his slick shootout move. 'But after watching the first two shooters, I changed my mind.'
Johnson feels no rust from his absence.
'I feel fine, I feel back to normal, he said. 'I don’t feel I missed that much with my time out. It took a few games to get back to feeling normal.'
QUICK SLATED FOR NINTH STRAIGHT START
Goaltender Jonathan Quick will make his ninth straight start tonight vs. Calgary.
'Coming off of that road trip, you want to get your legs going and you want to get into the game very quick at home,' Quick said. 'You want the forwards to lay some bodies and get that momentum going again.'
Among NHL rookie goaltenders, Quick ranks third with a 2.40 GAA, third with 11 wins and third with a .919 save percentage. Among all NHL goaltenders he ranks 10th in GAA and tied for 12th in save percentage. Quick was named the NHL Third Star of the Week Dec. 28 and was named the NHL First Star of the Week on Feb. 8.
'I feel like, the way the team is playing right now is great.' Quick said. 'We really got a chance to gel on the road there and it reflects the way we play. The team is competing, it is a great time to come in the locker room.'